Hollow spy coins for all your micro-smuggling needs


23 Responses to “Hollow spy coins for all your micro-smuggling needs”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Dewi: The pocket contents bins do got through x-ray, and are not visually inspected (OK, someone visually inspects them by watching the scanner display and pushing buttons that change the colours in some manner I don’t understand). Whether the operator notices an atypical coin is a matter of chance. I think if they were trained to look for them, they would find some percentage of the ones presented.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I guess the reason why they stopped giving poison capsules to spies was that very few of them actually took them (and they were probably bad for morale)
    In another subject, why is it that the mobile version of the site doesn’t support leaving comments?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how this would look under X-Ray… Hate to be the sap who finds out while travelling through the US or some other paranoid country like China. Those rubber gloves would be out quick!!

  4. Dewi Morgan says:

    I noticed these on the Bazaar, and my main thought was “I’d totally spend that by accident.”

    My next was “if I throw an apparently-unformatted SD card through the X ray machine, the customs won’t give it a second glance. But if it’s in one of these coins, they sure as hell will want to know what’s on it.”

    It’s a nice gimmick, looks beautifully machined, but I’m not seeing a whole lot of cool uses for it.

    So: who can come up with the best potential use for one of these?

    • Anonymous says:

      When you go through security they don’t X-Ray your coins and keys, they just go in the little bin for visual inspection.

  5. rebdav says:

    I am curious why the NRO or CIA expected Gary Powers to be permitted to keep anything once in custody.
    BoingBoing can do all the articles they want on spy gadgets, they don’t get old.

  6. Anonymous says:

    No, Francis Gary Powers didn’t have a hollow silver dollar with a poison pin in it. The story is far more interesting than that. Powers carried a poison pin.. inside a PIN. A hollowed out pin with a poison pin inside it. Now that I would like to see. Details:


  7. Anonymous says:

    “I guess the reason why they stopped giving poison capsules to spies was that very few of them actually took them (and they were probably bad for morale)”

    Depends where you get caught. Death is often MUCH preferrable these days.

    Corporate espionage indeed.

    I’ve worked private security at places where that nickel – with that USB drive hidden in it – could destroy the entire business by making it unprofitable. Or, rather, some similar device already did destroy it… too many places with that sort of vulnerability just aren’t serious about security. No, can’t rile up the workers by telling them they can’t have change or makeup in a secured area… There goes another 500 jobs.

  8. dculberson says:

    How does it feel in the hand? Does it feel significantly lighter?

  9. Anonymous says:

    I’m going to hollow out a usb flash drive to hide money in.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Just think of the amount of data you can hide on a 32GB microSD card.

  11. Anonymous says:

    ‘For one reason or another, he did not use it’

    I believe the reason is most likely HE DIDN’T WANT TO DIE.
    Hardly an ignoble aim.

  12. caffeine addict says:

    I got one of the UK 1d (or maybe 2d) coins back when this was on BoingBoing last time round http://boingboing.net/2009/07/27/hollow-spy-coin.html

    The coins look 100% genuine but they feel and sound completely wrong. For obvious reasons they’re way too light and the hollowness means that they sound completely different when you tap them against another coin. But even when you realise what the coin is, there’s no way to get it open without the special collar – unless you want to destroy the thing.

  13. Anonymous says:

    How about corporate espionage? No need to avoid getting searched upon exiting the building. Heck, you could even get busted after downloading what you need, but as long as you got a candy bar from the vending machine first, no problemo.

    - Mr. Bluesky

  14. usonia says:

    You know when else a nickel costs $27? Magic shops. Shells, Expanded Shells, Half Dollars with 20 Centavo pieces hidden inside, quarters with a trap-door to “push a cigarette through” etc etc. Same coin special-ness, far more geeky.

    • Anonymous says:

      These magic coins have been around for years, possibly up to a hundred years in some cases. I was hoping someone would point this out usaonia…

  15. Ceronomus says:

    I must admit, the thought of planting a note in one of these, a sort of message in a bottle, and then putting it into circulation is an absolutely fascinating idea.

    • Xenu says:

      At $27 per coin, it would be cheaper just to put baggies of pot in library books (as recommended by Abbie Hoffmann.)

      • Ceronomus says:

        True, BUT the nickel would take someone actually looking for it to find it, the library book would merely end up with somebody baking brownies.

  16. TJ S says:

    This makes me wonder what sort of crazy spygadgets are actually in use right now.

    I mean, if anybody can store thousands of images on a device smaller than a fingernail (and costs almost nothing), then what kind of gizmos do spys carry around now?

  17. Kerov says:

    Just a matter of time before we see possession of such a “counterfeit” or “defaced” coin added to a long list of charges in an effort to coerce a plea bargain from someone who has somehow been caught in the government’s spotlight.

    If you have any reason to believe you may ever attract the serious ire of a customs agent, a police officer, or a prosecuting attorney, it seems like this would not be a great thing to have in your possession when that happens. Another one of those laws that aren’t enforced, except very occasionally — and then they are used to crush someone.

  18. simonbarsinister says:

    Oh great. Now the TSA has a reason to confiscate all of our coins, “just in case.”

  19. Anonymous says:

    I think 1 can see inside stuff at some extent in x-ray machine if sent to an international destination in an envelope etc.

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