I thought I had seen everything, but then I saw this:
Yes, that is a $1 Australian "coin" shaped like a map.
I'm sorry, but that's not a coin. It apparently is nominally legal tender in Australia, but that doesn't change anything in my mind. It's not a coin.
Canada has the same sort of nonsense going on:
Those are actually relatively tame:
The U.S. Mint has joined the fray also:
This last one is ridiculous: it's sculpture sitting on a coin!
I'm sorry, but these things really are not coins. I'm not saying that they won't be collected, I'm not even saying that coin collectors won't consider them part of their collections. I'm not saying that some won't have value - I'm just saying they are not coins, dammit!
Oh, there are more. Guitar shaped coins, sports cars, even scented coins!
I just can't accept that because some minting authority calls some object a coin it deserves the appellation.
But what else to call them? They are not exonumia, because they are "official". They aren't medals if they have legal tender status. So what are they?
I really don't think future coin collectors will call them coins. In fact, I think that these will be a special branch, like exonumia - there will be those who have a few pieces mixed into their collection and those who collect only these untraditional pieces.
Well, there's a thought: "Non-traditional NCLT" perhaps?
"NCLT productions" is another possibility.
I suppose "Shark jumpers" might be too caustic, but you never know. I think that will be my term, at least for now.
So, how many shark jumpers do you own? I've bought the Baseball Hall of Fame, but don't think I'll be buying any others. How about you?