Polish mint creates world’s first “flying coin”

The world’s first “flying coin” has been created by the Mint of Poland (Mennica Polska), the maker of Poland’s own official currency.

The coin is set in motion by a motor hidden inside it. A magnetic field generated between the motor and the specially designed base below then causes it to float in the air.

Named UFO MP-1766 due to its likeness to a science-fiction spaceship and in reference to the year the mint was founded, the coin also glows in the dark thanks to the use of fluorescent paint.

UFO MP-1766 is made from seven ounces of silver and despite its unconventional form, the coin will be legal tender.

Its denomination is 1,766 Cameroonian francs, equivalent to approximately 11.70 Polish zloty or €2.69. But “its real value is significantly higher than its nominal one”, says the mint.

The prototype coin was unveiled at last week’s Technical Forum in Berlin. However, it will not be introduced to the market until this spring.

“We cannot simply create a coin that goes into official circulation, because only central banks have the right to issue money,” Łukasz Karda, director of the mint’s technical and production planning department, told the Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

“Therefore, there is a business model of getting in touch with somewhat exotic foreign banks, in this case the Bank of Cameroon,” he added.

“We wondered what to surprise the participants of the Technical Forum with this time…We assembled a team of experts from various company divisions, including marketing and production. The idea was spontaneous, thrown around ad hoc: ‘Let’s make a flying coin’,” explained Karda.

“At first it sounded like a good joke, but with each passing day it became clear that we were up to the task. We found the right technology and it worked. Work went smoothly, production went rapidly.”

UFO MP-1766, czyli latająca moneta. Pionierski projekt Mennicy Polskiej został zaprezentowany podczas berlińskiego Forum Technologicznego. https://t.co/rfGGLEiut7

— Wyborcza.pl Warszawa (@GazetaStoleczna) February 6, 2024

This is not the first time the Mint of Poland has issued an unconventional coin. Its portfolio includes the world’s first “spatial coin” (one made in a non-conventional 3-D shape) and a cylindrical coin.

“Now we are making history anew by being able to boast of using our know-how to create the world’s first flying coin,” said Katarzyna Budnicka-Filipiuk, Mint of Poland’s president.

The mint, although a private company, is the only private body permitted to manufacture coins and investment products in Poland.

It is also the sole manufacturer of commemorative coins issued by the National Bank of Poland – the country’s central bank – and produces official and heraldic seals, as well as commemorative medals and insignia for local authorities.

A collection of 30 rare Polish coins has been auctioned in New York for a combined $3.5 million.

It included a gold ducat of Sigismund III from 1593 – believed to be the only surviving coin of its type – that went for $360,000 https://t.co/WBHYfCTAeT

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) January 17, 2023

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Main image credit: Mennica Polska / YouTube

Alicja Ptak is senior editor at Notes from Poland and a multimedia journalist. She previously worked for Reuters.

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