Pennies may only be worth $0.01, but if you want a coin with everyone's favorite donut-eating dad on it, you're going to need to shell out a little bit more.
Shaun Hughes is a UK-based artist who turns coins into extremely detailed works of art using simple, handheld engraving tools. One of his coolest creations is a penny with Homer Simpson's bust rather than that of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, which sold on eBay in December for a cool $207.50 plus $9.00 in shipping costs (and potential felony charges).
Now, $207.50 may seem like a lot of money to spend on a well-decorated penny, but when you think about the time and precision that goes into creating something this small and intricate, the price makes a lot more sense. Many of Hughes' engravings are on pound (UK currency) coins, but he has a few other penny masterpieces on eBay, including a Krusty the Clown one going for $125 plus shipping.
Check some of his other coin-based creations in the gallery below:
Now, we'd be remiss if we didn't warn you that destroying or defacing US currency is a federal crime and can lead to no more than five years in prison. It is also illegal to possess or bring defaced currency back into the US, so purchasing and owning one of these coins is also, technically, illegal, according to Title 18 of the US Code:
Whoever fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the mints of the United States, or any foreign coins which are by law made current or are in actual use or circulation as money within the United States; or Whoever fraudulently possesses, passes, utters, publishes, or sells, or attempts to pass, utter, publish, or sell, or brings into the United States, any such coin, knowing the same to be altered, defaced, mutilated, impaired, diminished, falsified, scaled, or lightened - Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
However, the US Department of the Treasury notes that "there are no sanctions against such activity absent fraudulent intent," so as long you don't treat these artsy coins as anything but coins with art on them, you might be good to go. So if you're feeling like a total badass who's willing to take a chance, check out Hughes' eBay auctions. It's the perfect gift for that special someone who likes to live on the edge.
Share this article using the links below, and let us know what you think in the comments! If you enjoyed this post and have ideas about things happening in the world that inspire wonderment, make sure to send a tip to firstname.lastname@example.org or @katie_pooch on Twitter.