Coins-and-Banknotes.com
Coins-and-Banknotes.com

11 Unusually Shaped Coins

Coins-and-Banknotes.com
Coins-and-Banknotes.com

Sure, state quarters and presidential dollar coins may be fun. But for a truly unique coin, you need to think outside the box—or the circle, as it were—and come up with a truly original shape. Here are 11 coins with shapes that just might not work in a vending machine.

1. Baseball

In honor of the National Baseball Hall of Fame's 75th anniversary next year, the U.S. Mint announced that it would produce special $5 gold, $1 silver, and half-dollar coins. The twist? They'll be convex, to more closely resemble baseballs. The Mint is running a contest for the design of the concave side—the reverse will feature an anniversary logo for the Hall of Fame. While it's the first time the Mint is venturing into convex coins (and actually it will require an act of Congress to change a law that requires a certain diameter for gold and silver coins), other countries have tried it out. France debuted one in 2009 for the International Year of Astronomy, and Australia made one last year featuring the Southern Cross constellation (above).

2. Australia

The Perth Mint has been working on an unusual series of coins to honor Australia—they're all shaped like the country itself. So far three silver coins have been produced in the series, featuring a kookaburra, an emu, and a kangaroo against backgrounds of iconic Australian landscapes. 

3. Pyramid

Coins-Auctioned.com

To celebrate a worldwide tour of treasures recovered from Tutankhamun's Tomb, the Isle of Man produced special coins shaped as—what else?—a pyramid. The world's first pyramid-shaped coin (triangular, actually) was legal tender on the island, but was designed mainly for collectors. One side featured a drawing of King Tut taken from the tomb itself, with real sand recovered from the entrance of the tomb used to fill in the sun. The other side featured Queen Elizabeth.

4. Guitar

JoelsCoins.com

In 2004, Somalia celebrated the 50th anniversary of rock & roll with a limited-edition series of guitar-shaped coins, showing off different popular styles. They included the Gibson Flying V and a pink star guitar, like the one used by Gary Glitter. Based on the popularity of the coins, Somalia issued another set in 2012, this time with Jimmy Page's double-necked guitar and a rectangular one like Bo Diddley played. In the grips of Civil War for years, the Somalian government actually does not distribute currency, so these coins are mostly for collectors. But they've launched a whole series of bizarre shapes, including…

5. Motorcycle

JoelsCoins.com

…Motorcycles...

6. Sportscar

JoelsCoins.com

And sportscars. You should also check out the rare 3D coin set and an animal series.

7. A Jigsaw Flag

Kckrs.com

Poland and Ukraine jointly hosted the Euro 2012 football tournament, and in the spirit of cooperation, they released rare bi-national coins. One set had a traditional coin broken into two pieces, one with the value of 10 Polish zloty and the other 10 Ukranian hryvnia. But those had nothing on the special Polish jigsaw coins that, when joined together, formed a flag shape. On one side of the completed coin is the UEFA trophy, on the other a sketch of four football players. Each piece was worth 10 zloty, roughly $2.80 at the time, and represented the four Polish cities that were hosting games in the tournament.

8. Heart

Coins-and-Banknotes.com

The Pacific island of Palau has tried to appeal to coin collectors with a whole series of unique coins, featuring holograms, gems, and even freshwater pearls. But perhaps their most unusual is a set of heart-shaped coins. A 2009 minting featured a pair of angels, while the 2012 run showed a heart with wings and the slogan "My heart flies for you."

9. Valencia Cathedral

Gcoins.net

It's unclear why the Cook Islands chose to issue a coin in tribute to Pope Benedict XVI's 2006 trip to Valencia Cathedral in Spain. But the resulting gold-on-silver coin is quite elaborate. It's shaped like the cathedral itself, supposedly the site of the Holy Grail. And where there would normally be a stained glass window, the coin instead features small crystals.

10. Europe

Fleur-de-Coin.com

The Republic of Nauru, a South Pacific island also known as Pleasant Island, wanted to honor the 2002 formation of the European Union with its own commemorative coin. Naturally, the $10 silver coin they minted took the shape of all of the founding nations of the E.U.

11. The Bermuda Triangle

Numista.com

Not shying away from its notorious legacy, Bermuda embraced the legend of the Bermuda Triangle with a series of triangular coins, the first coming in 1970. The coins are prized among collectors and feature images of ships sailing in the Atlantic. One 1997 release even displayed the wreckage of the Sea Venture, a 17th-century English ship that crashed into the reefs off of Bermuda.

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Health
20 States With the Highest Rates of Skin Cancer
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They don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing. Floridians get to soak up the sun year-round, but that exposure to harmful UV rays also comes with consequences. Prevention magazine reported that Florida has the highest rate of skin cancer in the U.S., according to a survey by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).

BCBS surveyed 9 million of its insured members who had been diagnosed with skin cancer between 2014 and 2016 and found that Florida had the highest rate of skin cancer at 7.1 percent. People living in eastern states tend to be more prone to skin cancer, and diagnoses are more common among women.

Here are the 20 states with the highest rates of skin cancer:

1. Florida: 7.1 percent
2. Washington, D.C.: 5.8 percent
3. Connecticut: 5.6 percent
4. Maryland: 5.3 percent
5. Rhode Island: 5.3 percent
6. Vermont: 5.3 percent
7. North Carolina: 5.2 percent
8. New York: 5 percent
9. Massachusetts: 5 percent
10. Colorado: 5 percent
11. Arizona: 5 percent
12. Virginia: 5 percent
13. Delaware: 4.8 percent
14. Kentucky: 4.7 percent
15. Alabama: 4.7 percent
16. New Jersey: 4.7 percent
17. Georgia: 4.7 percent
18. West Virginia: 4.5 percent
19. Tennessee: 4.5 percent
20. South Carolina: 4.4 percent

It may come as a surprise that sunny California doesn’t make the top 20, and Hawaii is the state with the lowest rate of skin cancer at 1.8 percent. Prevention magazine explains that this could be due to the large population of senior citizens in Florida and the fact that the risk of melanoma, a rare but deadly type of skin cancer, increases with age. People living in regions with higher altitudes also face a greater risk of skin cancer due to the thinner atmosphere and greater exposure to UV radiation, which explains why Colorado is in the top 10.

The good news is that the technology used to detect skin cancer is improving, and researchers hope that AI can soon be incorporated into more skin cancer screenings. To reduce your risk, be sure to wear SPF 30+ sunscreen when you know you’ll be spending time outside, and don’t forget to reapply it every two hours. 

[h/t Prevention]

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Food
9 Healthy Frozen Meals to Keep in Your Freezer

Frozen dinners don’t exactly have the best reputation when it comes to nutrition. Many of the pre-made meals you’ll find at your local supermarket are loaded with sodium, fat, and calories. But there are still a few nutritious (and tasty) options, as long as you know where to look. Here are a few frozen food brands to keep in your freezer for those times when you need something quick, painless, and yes, healthy.

1. LOVE THE WILD

Pescatarians rejoice: This Colorado-based company specializes in meals made from sustainable, farm-raised seafood. They have your traditional microwaveable meals—like the Baja-style fish taco bowl and the sweet and spicy Korean BBQ bowl—but they also offer oven-ready fish kits. Cooking is easy: Simply place the provided (heart-shaped!) parchment on a baking sheet with the filet on one side; put the frozen sauce cubes on top; wrap it up; and pop it in the oven to bake for 20 to 25 minutes. You can also throw in any veggies you might have in your freezer, and Love the Wild provides some tasty recipe ideas on its website. Even Leonardo DiCaprio is a fan: “LoveTheWild’s approach to sustainable, responsible aquaculture is promoting the development of a secure and environmentally-conscious solution to feeding our planet’s growing population," he said last year after investing in the company.

2. CAPPELLO'S

Who says pizza has to be bad for you? With Cappello’s naked pizza crusts, you can build your own healthy pie just the way you like it. The crusts are made from arrowroot and coconut flours and are gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly. The brand also makes pre-made pizzas, vegan cookie dough, and a few varieties of pasta, including lasagna sheets, fettuccine, and gnocchi. Cappello's recommends recipes on its website, and the summer pesto pizza with chicken breast, goat cheese, and arugula is a great, light dish to serve at outdoor parties this season.

3. BEYOND MEAT

Vegetarian burgers on the grill
Beyond Meat

The Beyond Meat team set out to create a vegan burger that looks, tastes, and even "bleeds" like a real beef patty (due to the beet juice used to make the patties red). Ethan Brown, the company's founder, insists that the patties aren't much different from meat burgers. "Our company observation has always been that you don’t need an animal to produce a piece of meat," he tells Forbes. "You can obtain all of the core parts of meat—the amino acids, the lipids, the trace minerals and of course water from non-animal sources. And you can assemble those in the same architecture as animal meat." Some of their products are sold in the meat section of grocery stores, but a few items are available frozen, including The Beast Burger 2.0. Bill Gates and DiCaprio are both investors, and the company just announced it will start selling its products on six continents this summer.

4. GOOD FOOD MADE SIMPLE

As the name suggests, you’ll find simple, wholesome ingredients here. Since it was founded in 2011, the brand has been on a mission to offer minimally processed meals that "add nothing unnecessary" by way of ingredients. The company abides by a long list of "unacceptable ingredients" [PDF], including a variety of hydrogenated oils as well as artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, and sweeteners. Although they originally dealt only in breakfast dishes for busy workers on the go—burritos, scrambled egg bowls, pancakes, steel cut oatmeal, and more—they later branched out and started offering ready-made entrées. Their egg white patties are perfect for making your own customizable breakfast sandwiches.

5. DAILY HARVEST

This subscription food service proudly wears the frozen food label. "For decades, the space has been dominated by unhealthy or pseudo-healthy products that are hyper-refined and preserved," Daily Harvest founder Rachel Drori told the Huffington Post. "We are working hard to tell a new story, about the potential in freezing unadulterated to solve the modern eating dilemma of wanting convenience without compromise." Daily Harvest points out that after three days, some frozen fruits and vegetables contain more antioxidants and vitamins than their fresh counterparts. Their produce is frozen on the farm within 24 hours of harvesting, and they offer everything from cauliflower rice and kimchi harvest bowls to chocolate protein and almond chia parfaits. The pre-portioned meals, which are delivered to customers’ homes, are backed by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Serena Williams, and chef Bobby Flay.

6. EVOL

A burrito
Evol

Evol urges its customers to “think outside the microwave.” The brand’s burritos and quesadillas can be heated up in a panini press, on the stove top, or on the grill, allowing a level of customization that most frozen food brands don’t offer. A range of Asian, Italian, and Mexican dishes are available, all of which are free of antibiotics and preservatives. When asked by Dining Out why Evol has become so popular, the company's founder, Philip Anson, replied, "We built a brand rooted in love and farm-to-table values, but with some hipness to it in a category known as a cold and lonely place—legacy brands, uninspiring, mystery meat, sodium and fat." He said Evol's bowls—like truffle parmesan mac and cheese and butternut squash-sage ravioli—are their most popular dishes.

7. LUVO

Luvo’s meals are based on what they call the 3-2-None policy. This involves balancing protein, whole grains, and veggies; limiting sodium and added sugar; and avoiding all artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and antibiotics. In addition to steam-in-pouch meals and pasta bowls, Luvo offers “power bowls” that are packed with at least two servings of vegetables. The company's emphasis on nutrition goes beyond its products, though: Luvo also partners with WhyHunger, an organization that's addressing the issue of hunger in America by tackling the root cause of the issue while recognizing "nutritious food as a human right." Luvo also partners with A Sense of Home, which helps foster children who have "aged out" of the system transition into a new home.

8. BEETNIK

Organic frozen meals with simple ingredients are the name of the game for Beetnik. Their meals are free of preservatives, gluten, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, hormones, artificial colors and flavorings, and antibiotics. One of their most popular dishes is their Peruvian seasoned chicken stew, made with tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and spices. The company's founder, David Perkins, is a chef; when asked by Paleo Foundation what his favorite Beetnik dish is, Perkins replied, "I love our flat iron steaks, our Peruvian chicken stew, and our sablefish, but tomorrow I might give you three different items. I eat our products regularly, which is how I got into the business. Start with great ingredients."

9. EATOLOGY

Like Daily Harvest, this subscription food service delivers frozen meals right to your door via UPS. Eatology meals combine aspects of both the paleo and zone (low-carb) diets, while also incorporating lots of lean proteins and healthy fats. In addition to being paleo-friendly, there are plenty of low-carb, Whole30, and vegetarian options available. Bad news for carb lovers, though: You won't find bread, potatoes, or pasta on the menu. Their dishes change daily, but past meals have included white chicken chili on a bed of yellow squash, ratatouille, cilantro jalapeno burgers, and chili cheese fries (using sweet potatoes and carrots).

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