When does a nickel cost $27? When it's a hollow spy coin made by Brian Dereu. The spy nickel that Dereu sells in our new Boing Boing Bazaar holds a microSD card, but his inspiration is strictly Cold War spy tech:
During the Cold War, Spies from both the East and West used Hollow Coins to ferry secret messages, suicide poisons, and microfilms undetected. On May 1st, 1960 U2 Pilot Gary Francis Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union and taken captive. In his possession was a hollow silver dollar containing a poisoned needle that was to be used to take his own life in such a circumstance. For one reason or another, he did not use it and was held for 21 months by the Soviets. He was then exchanged for Soviet spy KGB Colonel Vilyam Fisher (aka Rudolf Abel) at the Glienicke Bridge, in Berlin, Germany. Colonel Fisher was also no stranger to hollow coins...his original capture by the United States FBI was directly related to a hollow nickel that was used to transport microfilm.Hollow Spy Coins (Boing Boing Bazaar)
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.