How am I supposed to pay *half* a coin? Question
This Shabbat we read Shekalim (Exodus 30:11-16), in which we're instructed to pay a half-shekel to avoid plagues. I'm not very skilled at cutting silver, so I want to know how exact the half-coin needs to be. If, after I cut my coin, I find that the two pieces aren't exactly the same, can I just pay the larger one and call it good, even though it's more than half a shekel? Can I pay the smaller piece and make up the difference with further cuttings from the larger piece? And what am I supposed to do with the leftover piece? Would disposing of it be a violation of bal tashchit?
Or can I avoid the whole problem by submitting payment for myself and a partner together and just paying one coin?
How, practically speaking, are unskilled silversmiths to implement this half-coin payment? I don't want to do it wrong when the next census comes.