Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Uniquely shaped coins

Normally all coins are round since the times coins came into the common use. But man’s aesthetics and quest for change never rests, and this is applicable to the shape of coins as well.  Here are some of the coins with a different shape for the interest of coin collectors.

Isle of Man took the lead a few years ago (2007) to issue world’s first pyramid shaped coins. One side of the pyramid coin bears an image of Tutankhamun while the other has a portrait of Queen Elizabeth. The copper coin’s legal tender value is 25p. Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty (ruled c.1333 BC – 1323 BC in the conventional chronology), during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom. His original name, Tutankhaten, means "Living Image of Aten", while Tutankhamun means "Living Image of Amun".

The second coin above with a rectangular “hole” was issued by Canada in 2007 - a first for the Royal Canadian Mint! This unique coin was inspired by the square-holed coins that came into use in China after 523 B.C. Many believe its round shape symbolized heaven while the square represented earth.

The third tablet shaped coin was again issued by the Isle of Man in 2010 made of fine silver depicting Kublai Khan this time.  Kublai Khan was the fifth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire from 1260 to 1294 and the founder of the Yuan Dynasty in East Asia. Kublai Khan was the first non-Chinese Emperor who conquered all China and the only Mongol khan after 1260 to win new great conquests.

And talking of technologies, this last coin above features the Canadian Mint’s leading-edge hologram technology on its reverse side as its obverse displays an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II against a mirror-like proof field. With a worldwide mintage of only 4,888, this coin retails for $638.88 CDN. This $150 18-Karat gold coin represents the Year of Rabbit of the Chinese calendar. 

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