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.
Three Dimensional Coins
Three dimensional coins have been tried for some time, and some are quite appealing. Newer three dimensional designs have one far in design.
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.
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 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
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.
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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.
Silver Coin Embellished with a Niobium Dragonfly
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