The BBC reported a few weeks ago that millions of Indian coins are being smuggled into neighbouring Bangladesh and turned into razor blades. A new token currency has arisen: “To deal with the coin shortage, some tea gardens in the north-eastern state of Assam have resorted to issuing cardboard coin-slips to their workers. The denomination is marked on these slips and they are used for buying and selling within the gardens.”
(via Marginal Revolution)
I couldn't find any photos of the cardboard 'coin-slips'. They are the same size as the coins they replace.
The USA has taken steps to prevent this from happening here: It's illegal to melt pennies or nickels. It is also illegal for travelers to carry more than 100 nickels out of the country.
"Italian" Coin Seizure: More to Come? - US Customs is bragging to the press about its seizure of Roman coins the importer "misrepresented" came from the Middle East when "everyone" knows "Roman" ...
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