Three Dimensional Coins

by blackspanielgallery

Three dimensional coins have been tried for some time, and some are quite appealing. Newer three dimensional designs have one far in design.

Coins are often thought of a round, but some major mints have issued some innovative designs. As the effort to improve collectible coins as works of art, and to attract the attention of collectors, three dimensional coins came about. Early attempts fell short of aesthetic beauty, and were often geometric solids, such as cones. They brought about the problem of storage, as well as not being appealing. Coin collectors store coins in a safe place, and they must be capable of being packed into a space like a bank box or a safe with other coins.

A Better Design

The two piece coin solved the storage problem, and was better visually than other three dimensional designs, but it also did not catch on.  It consisted of a piece of the coin inset into another piece, which together formed a round disk.  But, when the insert was removed, a small tab on the bottom fit into a small slot in the other part of the coin, allowing one piece to stand with the other piece serving as a base.  This design was not repeated, and soon this coin was rarely seen.  Collectors prefer to not handle a coin.  And, protection against the environment was difficult when the coin was displayed as a standing piece.

Other Designs

Several other designs have been tried.  One is a cup.  It was enameled white and maroon, and had but one redeeming quality, it was made of fine silver.  Other than that I could see no reason to have it in any coin collection.

Another design, and one of recent appearance, is that of a silver bullet.  This one is appealing to the many coin collectors who also are into collecting guns.  It is easier to store, and is also made in fine silver.


Cloisonné Coins

Cloisonné coins are made with a technique of building wire designs that are set atop a metallic disk, then filling the areas outlined by the wires with enamel.  This does add a three dimensional appearance to the coin, but is relatively flat and can be easily stored.  The subject matter chosen for the cloisonné coins is flowers, and this set endured over time.


Cook Island Cloisonné Coins


2009  Poppy Flower

2009  Pansy

2011 Daisy

2012  Cherry Blossom


These coins are 25 grams of fine silver, and are minted with a proof finish.  The wire is gold, and makes a nice appearance atop the silver coin.  Mintage for each coin is 2,500.


Other sets have also appeared, including the Easter egg coins minted for Cook Islands.  These are supposed to mimic the Fabergé Eggs.   



Finally, Several Sets of Coins of Interest

The butterfly coins have an elevated part, and give the coin an appealing appearance.  They are minted with a wing or two wings tilted upwards. 


The coins are minted for Tanzania, the Republic of Central Africa, and Equatorial Guinea.  They are quite attractive.  It appears the process was marketed to several countries, and the coins have a similar appearance.

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New from Canada

The Royal Canadian Mint has released a silver coin embellished with a niobium piece of unique art in the shape of a dragonfly that is placed on the coin.  This gives the appearance of a dragonfly hovering.  It is a three dimensional coin designed to be unique.  An electrical voltage applied to the niobium makes  refracting layer of translucent niobium.  Since the thickness of the refracting layer differs for each piece, and probably for different arts of each piece, each niobium dragonfly refracts light in a unique way.  Hence, no two coins are exactly alike.

This article contains links to affiliate programs from some or all of Amazon, Zazzle, Viglink, and Ebay through Viglink, and Adsense advertising.  These must use cookies to allow for proper crediting.

Updated: 09/19/2017, blackspanielgallery
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blackspanielgallery on 09/18/2016

with coins each has its own way of fascinating. Actually, the Royal Canadian Mint just released a new three dimensional coin featuring niobium as the image metal.

DerdriuMarriner on 09/18/2016

blackspanielgallery, Thank you! I always look forward to another installment on our coin-related series of articles. The cloisonné particularly appeals to me even though the butterfly series seem like such poster insects for raising environmental awareness and conservation.

blackspanielgallery on 08/09/2016

This is an excellent coin. Now, a new parrot coin is out.

candy47 on 08/08/2016

Beautiful color and detail on the Butterfly coins!

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