COLLECTORS COMMONLY AGREE that the most beautiful American coin ever issued was the 1898-1906 Cycling Liberty dollar, showing Liberty on a bicycle on the obverse, with the reverse depicting a bald eagle perched on a pair of handlebars.

Until recently, the smallest coin ever minted was the 1712 Ottoman 1/144 akçe, which unfortunately was dropped and rolled into a crack in the floor before it could be accurately measured. With current technology, however, it is possible to mint coins at the molecular level, and the Swiss mint has announced a series of new coins in 1-, 2-, 5-, 10-, and 25-nanofranc denominations.

The largest coin ever minted was the 2,000,000-talent coin of Commodus. It was struck with hollow chambers within so that the emperor might live in the coin and enjoy his money in its purest form.

The oldest known coin is the Lydian drachma of Croesus, which was cut out of construction paper, with a crude portrait of the king in orange crayon.

The most valuable coin known to numismatists today is the 1838 Bolivian 3-scudo piece. Only three were known to have been minted. One was stuck in a newly poured concrete sidewalk soon after it was placed in circulation, and a second was lost in an out-of-order jukebox in Cochabamba. The third is currently for sale; the asking price is the country of Bolivia itself. President Morales is said to be considering the offer.


  1. Nelson Talbot-Reynardine says:

    Wasn’t it Commodus who also wrote the anthem “We’re In The Money?”

  2. Roy Jacobsen says:

    A friend of mine once told me of a currency that had as its standard a specific combination of rare and precious fluids, rather than one based on precious metals such as gold or silver. This currency, called “bunta,” is clearly the best way to truly hold liquid assets.

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