Banksy: the Coin that Almost Shreds
But few parallels could be drawn as serendipitous as the result of the final Banksy coin. With engineering marvels like the Trap and Gold Bug behind him, one would think that no technical challenge could be too great for Booteen to overcome.
Each handmade Banksy features an original Morgan Dollar, modified to accommodate the intricate gears and other mechanical parts that activate the hidden shredder. It’s the perfect way to pass a note to an admirer or crush, with the ability for the tiny message to self-destruct with the mere flick of a fingertip. Roman’s tribute to Banksy’s Girl with Balloon is crafted from a quarter ounce of 9999 fine gold, ensuring the lasting value of this strictly limited heirloom. Each Banksy Coin ships in a custom Booteen box, and includes a tiny wooden easel for displaying this rare beauty.
Girl with Balloon first appeared in 2002 on London’s Waterloo Bridge. Over the years, the work has been used to represent various social causes, from protesting the West Bank Barrier to the attempted swaying of the 2017 UK election. A recent poll ranked Girl with Balloon as the UK’s most beloved work of art.
In the case of Roman Booteen, observing this rule is quite easy. What Booteen did in a few weeks took an international team of experts nearly 18 months to reproduce.
Roman helped us get started by providing an early trap mechanism prototype, as the original $10,000 Trap Coin wasn’t going to be dismantled. They sent the mechanism to engineers in Australia and Lichtenstein for evaluation. While the consensus was that replicating the design was possible, it wouldn’t be easy on such a very small scale. Increasing the size of the model would be the only way to easily replicate the Trap Coin, but that was out of the question. First, we wanted to make the replica as close to the original model as possible, and that meant using Morgans and Dos Pesos. Second, so much of the intrigue of Booteen’s coin is how very tiny it is, and the painstaking microscopic precision required to piece it together..
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