This time not mine, but I bought one partly to make sure!
The photo above shows a commemorative, silver-plated €5 coin issued by the Royal Dutch Mint in honor of their 100th anniversary. As a concession to modern technology, the reverse features a QR Code that encodes a URL—apparently the first of its kind. This is a bold move, as coins presumably last longer than URLs (not to mention QR Codes!), a reality that doesn’t seem to faze the designer, Juan José Sánchez Castaño:
Some people are worried about the fact that QR Codes will disappear in the future, or the coin will not be connected or linked any more to this webpage. [The] internet can also change or disappear in [a] few decades, and so [can] the coins, who knows? The Roman Empire disappeared centuries ago, but nowadays we still enjoy their coins and we know their meaning. As Marshall McLuhan said: “the medium is the message”. The QR Code is the message. The representation of the time we are living is the message, no matter what is encoded on it. The QR Code is a part of the design, part of the message and a beautiful way to close the circle of the one hundred years.
The timing of this offer (mid-June) was especially propitious, as the ordering form limited shipment to only EU countries. Luckily I had just such an address, thanks to Stephanie’s mom. What I was most curious about, based on the fuzzy Google translation of the Dutch Mint’s website, was what exactly the QR Code would encode. Presumably a URL, but would all the coins simply point to the 100th anniversary microsite (like the sample graphic below), or would each QR Code be unique in some way?
I was too curious not to spend the $27 dollars it cost (at current exchange rates) to buy and ship it to France (while we were there) in order to find out. And it’s worth at least as much as its face-value (€5 or $7.25), not to mention any collectible value that Queen Beatrix fans or QR Code geeks (or both!) might give it.
Here’s the reverse:
Turns out the coin has the same QR Code as the design graphic, encoding the URL http://www.q5g.nl/. No surprises.