Coins are an integral part of history. Not only used as money, they are also associated with different myths, beliefs and symbols. They form the foundation of stories about treasure hunts, pirate ships and the end of the rainbow. They are sought after by a vast number of real life and fictional characters from gun toting criminals to the Tooth Fairy. Coins have also been issued by governments or rulers as propaganda to inspire patriotism and commemorate achievement. In addition, many coins have been designed to reflect local pride, communicating the culture of an area through images and symbols.
Tokens symbolize an exchange value that is established for a certain dollar or cent value. They are unlike currency because the value is localized to the business that issued it. Tokens used by businesses serve a variety of functions such as simulating a sale, promoting a discount, or extending credit. They can be spent on specific goods or services and also act as substitute currency for small change.
Coins can be used as decorative pieces to accentuate an item or piece of clothing. The shine and flare of coins are attention getting and a way to show personality. They can be re-purposed and manipulated to create different designs and patterns. Coins can also be molded into a variety of shapes and sizes to create art or jewelry.
As coins developed in different areas, many had their own shapes and designs. The designs reflected local pride, self-image, and the history of a country or region. They were a way to communicate unity and let people know who they were and who or what they idolized.