The Gemara on yesterday’s daf closed with a Mishna from Bava Kamma (daf 90a) that rules that hatoke’a leḥavero noten lo sela – that if someone strikes his friend, and he remains uninjured, he is obligated to pay him a sela because of the embarrassment that he caused.
The Gemara continues with a vignette that illustrates this law.
Ḥanan Bisha – Ḥanan the wicked – struck a certain man. He was brought before Rav Huna. Rav Huna said to him: Give him half a dinar as compensation. Ḥanan possessed a zuza makha – an impaired dinar – which was not in circulation. He wanted to give him half a dinar from it. The other did not want to accept it. So he struck him another time and handed him the whole dinar.
Many people will refuse to accept a battered coin, even if remains acceptable currency according to the law. The Rashba in Bava Kamma (daf 37a) explains that if there is no need to give change, it must be accepted as legal tender, which is why ultimately Ḥanan Bisha was able to pay using that coin. The Hagahot HaBaḥ suggests that the injured party felt that he would not be able to use the coin, which is why he refused to accept it initially and be forced to give him change from it.
In truth, during Talmudic times, the value of a given coin did not depend on the condition of the coin, rather on the amount that the metal in the coin was worth. Nevertheless, many people were concerned that the coin should be in good condition and that the minted form on the coin be sharp and clear, since then its value would be obvious to all. From a legal perspective, a dinar that was battered was really worth a dinar, but it was still difficult to get someone to accept it as payment.