We had a debate last night about “the future of cash – is there one?” with the Royal Mint and LINK network arguing against two digital futurists.
I’ll write up that debate in a bit but, in preparing for the meeting, I thought about cash.
Specifically the minting of cash, a subject I’ve touched on a few times before.
There’s an interesting perspective about coins in particular, as coins can be status symbols.
Just look at the guys in the Yap Islands, who row miles to the nearby Palau island in order to quarry stone coins.
The fact that they have to carry these stone coins back in their canoes and then lug them up hills and valleys to their houses is the reason why the guy with the biggest stone gets the gals.
Well, maybe not.
Today, we don’t go quite for such status symbol displays … unless you’re Australian.
The Perth Mint for example made a coin last year that weighs a tonne.
Actually, it does literally weigh a tonne … a tonne of pure gold.
Mind you, you can’t fit it inside your pocket so easily, so I prefer this coin which is made from just an ounce of gold but is worth $7.5 million:
It’s rare because all of the 1933 coins were melted down and only a few remain – about 13 – in the world, and all of these except for one is in the vaults of the US Government.
The coin is being toured around Europe as we speak, with an appearance in Dublin today, where it may be doubling in value as someone’s bound to try and nick it.
That's if they can get past the three full-time security guards who travel with it.
Meantime, our very own Royal Mint is celebrating 100 years since the Titanic sank by selling a celebratory Titanic coin.
Blimey, it’s competitive this minting game isn’t it and, if anything, proves that the future of cash is still very much alive and floating.