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UNUSUAL COINS

What strange coins will they come up with next?
Odd shapes, odd sizes, unusual metals, embedded objects, design errors and other unusual stuff.


NEWCOIN OF ATHOS

Mount Athos (Athonic State) 500 Drachm coinMount Athos, also known as Holy Mountain in Greek, is the home of 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries.  It is an autonomous entity within Greece known as the Athonic State and is expressly exempt from many of the rules and regulations of Greece and the European Union.  It has been inhabited since ancient times and its monastic traditions date back to at least 800AD.  No females are allowed to enter. This unofficial 2018 500 Drachma features the double headed imperial eagle on one side and the icon of a saint on the other.  The eight-sided silver-plated Proof coin has a mintage of only 150 pieces, 
Item ATHOS ATHOS 500 DRACHM 2018 PROOF $19.75


NEWTRIANGULAR COIN OF THE KINGDOM OF NORTH BARCHANT

North Barchant 2 Bytecoins 2018 triangular coinThe Kingdom of North Barchant consists of a group of barges floating in the neutral waters of the Atlantic Ocean north of the Canary Islands. It claims to have an area of 1.12 km2 (276 acres).  It has its origin in 2010 when the crews of barges drifting in the North Atlantic were unable to return home due to lack of funds, documents, and support of their countries. In an effort to the interests of its inhabitants North Barchant proclaimed itself an independent micro-nation on September 15, 2015.  Unlike many micro-nations it actually has a population and a territory.  In 2018 it issued its first, and only officially authorized coin.  The 35mm equilateral triangle coin has the nominal value of 2 Bytecoins.  The Bytecoin is an independent cryptocurrency designed for anonymous cash settlements released in 2014.  It is not related to the bitcoin.  The obverse features the emblem of the kingdom.  The reverse depicts a sailfish, the national motto " Vitam et Libertatem" (Latin for "Life and Freedom") the dates 2015 and 2018 and the denomination.  The silver-plated Proof coin a mintage of only 150 pieces.  It is an official and unusual coin issued by an unusual nation.
Item BARCHANT NORTH BARCHANT 2 BYTECOINS, 2018 PROOF $19.75




NEWODD COINS FROM ODD BITS OF EUROPE

Büsingen am Hochrhein 20 Francs 2018Campione d'Italia 100,000 Lire 2018 cutout coin
Over the centuries, the changing boundaries of European nations has left a few tiny pieces of one nation totally surrounded by another nation.  In 2018 low-mintage unofficial coins were issued for two of these unusual entities.
Büsingen am Hochrhein is a small German town (2.94 sq. miles, 7.62 km2 with a population of 1358 entirely surrounded by Switzerland.  It is separated from Germany by a narrow strip of land containing the Swiss village of Dörflingen. Long under Austrian control, it became part of the German kingdom of Württemberg under the 1805 Peace of Pressburg agreement during the Napoleonic Wars.  Following the First World War it overwhelmingly voted to become part of Switzerland, however Switzerland could not offer anything acceptable in exchange so it remains part of Germany.  Though part of Germany, by treaty it is not part European Union economic regulations or customs territory.  Instead it is part Swiss customs area and uses primarily the Swiss Franc rather than the Euro.  This 2018 20 Franc coin of Büsingen am Hochrhein features the EU emblem and a multi-color image of the town's coat-of-arms one the obverse.  The reverse includes the emblem of Switzerland in color and depicts a knight on horseback. 
Campione d'Italia is an Italian municipality entirely surrounded by the Swiss Canton of Ticano.  It is about half a mile (1km) from the rest of Italy but the intervening mountainous terrain requires a journey by road of over 9 miles (14 km) to reach the nearest Italian town.  The Romans founded the town in the first century BC to guard against invasions from Swiss tribes.  In 1798, when Ticino chose to join the Swiss Confederation, Campione chose to remain part of Lombardy.  In 1814 a referendum was held and Campione again rejected becoming part of Switzerland.  During the wars of Italian unification of 1848 Campione Switzerland for annexation, but Switzerland rejected it, wanting to retain their neutrality. During World War II fascist Italy did not have control over the town and the United States used it as a base for their spy operations in Italy. Because of its unusual situation the town is exempt from European Union Value Added Tax.  The town takes advantage of its status by operating operating the largest casino in Europe: Casinò di Campione.  The casino is the town's largest employer and generates sufficient revenue for the town to operate without the imposition of taxes or other revenue sources.  The 2018 100,000 Lire coin features a cutout of a deer.  The obverse of the coin includes the town's coat-of-arms which features a snail.   The reverse includes a fawn standing next to the cut-out of the deer.  Both coins are 40mm silver plated and have a mintage of only 150 pieces each.
Item BUSINGEN BUSINGEN AM HOCHRHEIN 20 FRANCS 2018 COLOR COIN PROOF $24.00
Item CAMPIONE CAMPIONE D'ITALIA 100,000 LIRE 2018 CUTOUT COIN BU $24.00





NEWODD MULTI-COLOR COINS OF CATO ISLAND & DIANE BANK

Cato Island 10 Dollars 2017Diane Bank 10 Dollars 2017
Cato Island and Diane Bank are Australian territories in the Coral Sea.  Unofficial 10 Dollar multi-color quarter-circle wedge shaped Proof coins dated 2017 were issued in 2018 for these remote locations.  The obverses portray Queen Elizabeth.  The reverses depict multi-color images of native sea life. These odd-shaped silver-plated Proof coins are 46mm x 34mm and have a mintage of only 150 pieces each.
Cato Island is at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef.  In 2004 it was declared to be the capital of the "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands", a micronation that that was created in response to Australia's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages. The Kingdom declared war on Australia and was ignored by Australia.  The Kingdom dissolved in November 2017 after Australia recognized same-sex marriages.  The coin has a color image of a Sea Goldie (Pseudanthias squamipinnis).  The Sea Goldie is a protogynous hermaphrodite; a male retains a harem of five to 10 females, but when the male dies, one of the females will undergo sex reversal and take the place of the missing male. 
The uninhabited Diane Bank is a mostly sunken atoll that is popular with divers and fishermen due to the abundance of sea life.  The coin pictures a Great Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna mokarran).  The shark is heavily fished for its large fins, which are extremely valuable on the Asian market as the main ingredient of shark fin soup. As a result, Great Hammerhead populations are declining substantially and it has been classified as an endangered species.   
Item CATO CATO ISLAND 10 DOLLARS 2017, MULTI-COLOR PROOF $22.00
Item DIANE DIANE BANK 10 DOLLARS 2017, MULTI-COLOR PROOF $22.00




UNUSUAL MULTI-COLOR COINS FROM CORAL SEA REEFS

Bougainville Reef 10 Dollars 2017 Laced Moray EelCoringa Islets 10 Dollars 2017 Longnose butterflyfishFlora Reef 10 Dollars 2017 Blue-girdled angelfishShark Reef 10 Dollars 2017 NautilusCommon obverse for Coral Sea Reef coins
Bougainville Reef and Flora Reef are Australian territories in the Coral Sea.  They are popular with divers and recreational fishermen.  Bougainville Reef is the home of an unmanned lighthouse and weather station.  Flora Reef is a 4.6 sq. mile (12 sq.km.) submerged atoll.  Unofficial 10 Dollar coins were issued for these uninhabited locations dated 2017.  Both are multi-color quarter circle wedge shaped coins.  A laced moray eel (Gymnothorax favagineus) in depicted on the Bougainville coin.  The Flora Reef coin features a blue-girdled angelfish (Pomacanthus navarchus).  The obverses of the coins depicts Queen Elizabeth  The odd-shaped silver-plated Proof coins are 46mm x 34mm and has a mintage of only 200 pieces each.
Item BOUGAINVILLE BOUGAINVILLE REEF 10 DOLLARS 2017, MULTI-COLOR PROOF $25.00
Item CORINGA CORINGA ISLETS 10 DOLLARS 2017, MULTI-COLOR PROOF $25.00
Item FLORA FLORA REEF 10 DOLLARS 2017, MULTI-COLOR PROOF $25.00
Item SHARK SHARK REEF 10 DOLLARS 2017, MULTI-COLOR PROOF $25.00



UNITED STATES CAPITOL SHAPED COIN FROM THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

U.s. Capitol Dome shaped building of the British Virgin IslandsThe British Virgin Islands issued this unusual 2017 dated 1 Dollar coin shaped like the dome of the United States Capitol building. Queen Elizabeth is on the obverse.  The nickel-silver coin measures 55mm x 41mm and has a mintage of just 5,000 pieces.  It comes in a red, white and blue faux leather pouch.  A competition was held in the spring of 1792 with a prize of $500 to see which architect could propose the best design for the Capitol building. A late entry from amateur architect William Thornton was the source of the iconic shape that we see today. Thornton, born in the British Virgin Islands, was well travelled and gained inspiration for the frontage of the building from east front of the Louvre and the Paris Pantheon.  The first cornerstone of the Capitol was laid by George Washington in 1793 and construction of the 16 acre building continued until 1800. The Capitol was partially burned by the British during the War of 1812 and subsequently rebuilt.   The dome we see today was built in the 1850's and is three times as tall as the original.  The dome is cast iron, carefully painted to match the stone of the main capitol building. 
Item BVI-CAPITOL BRITISH VIRGIN IS. 1 DOLLAR 2017 U.S. CAPITOL DOME SHAPED COIN, BU $24.00


2017 BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY GREEN TURTLE COINS IN TITANIUM & COPPER-NICKEL

BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY 2 POUNDS 2017 GREEN TURTLE - COPPER NICKEBRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY 2 POUNDS 2017 GREEN TURTLE - GREEN TITANIUM
A pair of Green Turtles swimming beneath the waves are featured on these 2017 2 Pound coins of the British Indian Ocean Territory. The British Indian Ocean Territory consists of the 55 islands of the Chagos Archipelago. It is the home of a large United States military base which is located on Diego Garcia.  The coin was struck in 2 metals, both with the same design.  The green titanium version is 36.1mm in diameter, weighs 10 grams, come2 in a box with a Certificate of Authenticity and has a mintage of 7500 pieces. It is the first Titanium coin issued for the British Indian Ocean Territory.  The copper-nickel version is 38.5mm and has a mintage of 10,000 pieces.  Both are Brilliant Uncirculated and feature Queen Elizabeth on the obverse.
Item BIOT-TIT-TURT17 BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY 2 POUNDS 2017 TURTLE GREEN TITANIUM BU $59.00
Item BIOT-CN-TURT17 BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY 2 POUNDS 2017 TURTLE COPPER-NICKEL BU $14.00




SEA LIFE ON SOUTH GEORGIA & SO. SANDWICH ISLANDS 2017 TITANIUM AND COPPER-NICKEL COINS

South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands 2 Pounds 2017 Elephant Seal - Green TitaniumSouth Georgia & South Sandwich Islands 2 Pounds 2017 Elephant Seal - copper-nickelSouth Georgia & South Sandwich Islands 2 Pounds 2017 Blue whale - Blue TitaniumSouth Georgia & South Sandwich Islands 2 Pounds 2017 Blue whalel - copper-nickelSouth Georgia & South Sandwich Islands 2 Pounds 2017 Colossal squid - Blue TtaniumSouth Georgia & South Sandwich Islands 2 Pounds 2017 Colossal squid - copper-nickelSouth Georgia & South Sandwich Islands coins feature Queen Elizabeth on the obverse
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands released attractive 2017 dated 2 Pound coins featuring native sea life.  One coin features a male and female Elephant Seal sitting on a beach. The seal gets its name from its great size and the large inflatable proboscis of the adult males, which is used to make extraordinarily loud roaring noises, especially during the mating season.  The coin was struck green titanium and copper nickel.  Another coin features a Blue Whale mother and her calf.  Blue whales are the largest animals ever known to have lived on Earth. These magnificent marine mammals rule the oceans at up to 100 feet long and upwards of 200 tons. Their tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant. Their hearts can be as large as an automobile.  A third issue features a Colossal Squid.  The squid is known from only a few specimens.  It is believed to reach a maximum size of over 40 feet (12 meters) and weigh as much as 1,650 pounds (750kg.).  .  The copper-nickel versions of the coins have a mintage of 10,000 pieces and are 38.6mm in diameter.  The titanium has a mintage of 7,500 pieces, is 36.1mm in diameter, weighs 10 grams, and come in a box with a Certificate of Authenticity.  All the coins portray Queen Elizabeth on the obverse and are Brilliant Uncirculated.
Item SGI-TIT-SEAL17 SO.GEORGIA & SO.SANDWICH IS. 2 POUNDS 2017 GREEN TITANIUM ELEPHANT SEAL BU $59.00
Item SGI-CN-SEAL17 SO.GEORGIA & SO.SANDWICH IS. 2 POUNDS 2017 COPPER-NICKEL ELEPHANT SEAL BU $14.00
Item SGI-TIT-BWHALE17 SO.GEORGIA & SO.SANDWICH IS. 2 POUNDS 2017 BLUE TITANIUM BLUE WHALE BU $59.00
Item SGI-CN-BWHALE17 SO.GEORGIA & SO.SANDWICH IS. 2 POUNDS 2017 COPPER-NICKEL BLUE WHALE BU $14.00
Item SGI-TIT-SQUID17 SO.GEORGIA & SO.SANDWICH IS. 2 POUNDS 2017 BLUE TITANIUM COLOSSAL SQUID BU $59.00
Item SGI-CN-SQUID17 SO.GEORGIA & SO.SANDWICH IS. 2 POUNDS 2017 COPPER-NICKEL COLOSSAL SQUID BU $14.00



SHARKS ON 2016 TITANIUM COINS OF BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

British Virgin Islands 5 Dollars 2016 Lemon Shark yellow titanium coin       British Virgin Islands 5 Dollars 2016 Great White Shark turquoise titanium coin   
The British Virgin Islands released 2016 coins depicting two different sharks: the Lemon Shark and the Great White Shark. The Lemon Shark is a stocky and powerful animal often found in shallow subtropical waters.  The shark’s yellow coloring serves as a perfect camouflage when swimming over the sandy sea floor of its coastal habitat.  The Great White Shark is a species of large shark which can be found in the coastal waters of all the major oceans.  The lifespan of great white sharks is estimated to be as long as 70 years or more making it one of the longest lived fish currently known.  It has no natural predators other than the Orca.  The coin shows an underwater scene looking up at the Great White Shark.  Both designs were struck in colored titanium. The titanium coins are denominated as 5 Dollars, are 36.1mm in diameter, but weigh only 10 grams (about a third of an ounce).  They have a mintage of only 5000 pieces each and come in a capsule and presentation box with a Certificate of Authenticity.  The Lemon Shark coin is struck in yellow titanium.  The Great White Shark is struck in Turquoise Titanium. Queen Elizabeth is on the obverse. 
Item BVI-TI-LEM16 BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 5 DOLLARS LEMON SHARK 2016 YELLOW TITANIUM BU $65.00
Item BVI-TI-WHITE16 BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 5 DOLLARS GREAT WHITE SHARK 2016 TURQUOISE TITANIUM BU $65.00


NEWBRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS TITANIUM & COPPER-NICKEL CLOWNFISH

British Virgin Islands 5 Dollars 2018 Clownfish orange titaniumBritish Virgin Islands 1 Dollar 2018 Clownfish copper-nickel
The Clownfish also known as Anemonefish are one of the most recognizable fish in the sea.  There is thirty different species of the fish of varying size and color.  Made popular by the Disney film “Finding Nemo” this little fish has a big character both in the film and on the reef!  The British Virgin Islands portrayed this popular fish on 2018 coins struck in both orange titanium and copper-nickel.  The orange titanium is denominated as 5 Dollars, is 36.1mm, has a mintage of 7,500 pieces and comes in a case with a Certificate of Authenticity.  The copper-nickel version denominated as 1 Dollar, is 36.8mm, and has a mintage of 10,000 pieces.  Both depict Queen Elizabeth on the obverse and are Brilliant Uncirculated.
Item Item BVI-TIT-CLN18 BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 5 DOLLARS 2018 ORANGE TITANIUM CLOWNFISH, BU $59.00
Item Item BVI-CN-CLN18 BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 1 DOLLAR 2018 COPPER-NICKEL CLOWNFISH, BU $14.00


BEER BOTTLECAP SHAPED COIN CELEBRATES GERMAN BEER PURITY LAW

German Beer Purity Law coin from PalauThis unusual multi-colored silver bottlecap shaped coin was issued by Palau to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Bavarian Beer Purity Law or Reinheitsgebot.  The original law limited the ingredients of beer to just barley, hops and water and set the prices that could be charged for beer.  The law has changed over the years, but still dictates the ingredients used in German beers today.   The 1 Dollar coin features a colored image of a pair of beer steins against the Bavarian flag on one side.  The other side has the arms of Palau.  The coin comes in a custom metal box with a Certificate of Authenticity printed on a beer coaster.  The 2016 dated coin is struck in .999 fine silver, weighs approximately 2.5 grams and is approximately 32mm in diameter.  It has a mintage of only 2500 pieces.  This unusually shaped coin  is sure to be popular with coin collectors and beer drinkers throughout the world.
Item PW-BEER PALAU 1 DOLLAR 2016 BEER PURITY LAW, PROOFLIKE $75.00



UNUSUAL CUT-OUT COIN FROM GAGAUZ REPUBLIC FEATURES WOLF

Gagauz Republic 100 Lei 2017 with cutout wolf coinThe Gagauz are Turkish-speaking Orthodox Christians living in southern Moldava.  There are numerous theories concerning their origins. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the Gagauz Republic attempted to become independent from Moldava.  They were eventually granted a large degree of autonomy within Moldava, though there are still many Gaguz who strive for full independence.  This 2017 dated 100 Lei of the Gagauz Republic is a most unusual coin.  The design features a cut out of a wolf, the national symbol of Gagauzia, howling at the moon. The national arms are depicted on one side, and the denomination is on the other.  The 40mm silver-plated coin has a mintage of only 200 pieces.  It is a highly unusual coin from a little-known location.
Item GAGAUZ GAGAUZ REPUBLIC 100 LEI 2017 WOLF CUTOUT BU $27.00



2016 HIGH RELIEF SILVER CANNABIS COIN FROM BENIN

Benin 1000 Francs 2016 Cannabis Sativa, concave high relief 31.1 grams .999 fine silverA bright, green Cannabis Sativa leaf is featured on this 2016 1 troy ounce, .999 fine silver  1000 Francs coin from Benin.   The high relief concave Proof coin is partially colored.  With a mintage of only 999 pieces it is expected to sell out quickly.  Cannabis Sativa is commonly known as marijuana, Mary Jane, pot, grass, weed and many other names as well.   Cannabis has long been used for making fiber, rope, oil, paper and medicines. It is now most widely used as a recreational drug.  The attractive coin is 38.61mm in diameter and comes in a capsule with a certificate and box.  The obverse features the arms of Benin.   It is a highly recommended high relief coin. 
Item BJ-MJ16 BENIN 1000 FRANCS 2016 CONCAVE HIGH RELIEF SILVER CANNABIS COIN, PROOF $119.00


CANNABIS LEAF SHAPED COIN FROM BENIN

Benin 100 Francs 2011 Marijuana leaf coinIn 2011 the West African nation of Benin issued this attractive colored legal tender coin shaped like marijuana leaf!  Cannabis Sativa, commonly known as marijuana, pot, grass, weed and many other names as well has long used for making fiber, rope, oil, paper and medicines.  It is now most famous for its use as a recreational drug.   The 44mm silver-plated copper-nickel coin looks like a green cannabis leaf on one side and has the arms of Benin and the denomination on the other.  It will will supposedly smell like cannabis when rubbed.  I have not tested that claim and do not recommend it if you wish to keep your coin pristine. The coins are denominated as 100 Francs CFA and is Proof.   It has a limited mintage of just 2,500 pieces and comes in a capsule with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.  I expect this unusual coin will be popular with collectors and potheads throughout the world, that is of course, if they remember to order it.  
Item BJ-MJ11 BENIN 100 FRANCS 2011 CANNABIS SHAPED COIN, PROOF $75.00



2016 PALAU "MIRACLE OF THE SEA" PEARL COIN

Palau 5 Dollars 2016 with a real embedded pearlA blue freshwater pearl is embedded in this beautiful 2016 1 ounce .999 fine silver 5 Dollar coin from Palau. The coin, called the “Miracle of the Sea” features a multi-colored Triton’s Trumpet in high relief. The arms of Palalu is on the other. The coin is part of Palau’s Marine Life Protection series.   The coin is struck using a new technology called “smartminting” which allows the colored image to rise appreciably above the surface of the coin, making the sea shell seem almost lifelike.   Triton’s trumpets (Charonia tritonis) have a length of up to 2 feet (60 cm) and are found in the Indian and southern Pacific Oceans.  The Proof coin is 38.61mm in diameter and has a mintage of just 2500 pieces.  It comes in a capsule in an attractive wooden box with a certificate of authenticity.
Item PW-PEARL16 PALAU 5 DOLLARS 2016 WITH PEARL, PROOF $125.00



2013 PALAU "SECRETS OF THE SEA" PEARL COIN

Palau 2013 silver proof 5 dollar coin with embedded pearlPalau continued their annual series of coins containing a pearl in 2013 with this "Secrets of the Sea" 5 Dollar sterling silver Proof coin. .  The coin features a freshwater pearl attractively mounted on the coin in a multi-colored image of on oyster shell.  The obverse features the arms of Palau. The 38.6 mm coin weighs 25 grams and has a mintage of just 2500 pieces.
Item PW-PEARL13 PALAU 5 DOLLARS 2013 WITH PEARL, PROOF $110.00




FIJI CELEBRATES THE GREAT CITIES OF THE WORLD

Fiji $1 2015 Great Cities of the World coin set
Fiji recently released a series of six gold-plated, rectangular, multi-colored coins featuring “Great Cities of the World”.  Each coin features an iconic picture of the city on the obverse and the Fiji coat-of-arms on the reverse.  The 2015 dated coins are denominated 1 Dollar.  Included are Berlin, London, Moscow, New York, Sydney and Tokyo (somehow Grover Beach was not included). The obverses depict the coat-of-arms of Fiji and the date. The coins are 45mm x 26mm and are Brilliant Uncirculated.
Item FJ-CITY FIJI SET OF SIX 1 DOLLAR GREAT CITIES COINS, BU $75.00


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