A History of Strange U.S. Coins
The Susan B. Anthony Dollar
The US Mint ceased production in 1979 after a rash of shattering mirrors and stopped clocks were being reported nationwide.
The Kennedy / Oswald Half-Dollar.
This was the original prototype for the Kennedy Half-Dollar, with the familiar bust of Kennedy on the Obverse and a standing figure of Oswald on the Reverse. This coin was widely rejected by the public, mainly because they did not approve of the big gaping hole through the center of the coin (that pierced through Kennedy's head and Oswald's torso). "Americans just don't like holes," commented a spokesman for the US Mint. A few of these were accidentally struck in 1962, a year before Kennedy and Oswald were actually assassinated, supporting the "conspiracy" theory.
The Mount Rushmore 41-cent piece
The US Mint thought they had stumbled upon a clever idea last year: by combining the dies of the Quarter (Washington), Nickel (Jefferson), Dime (Roosevelt) and Penny (Lincoln), a very large and heavy coin worth 41 cents could be designed, boasting the 4 presidents carved into Mount Rushmore. The idea was scrapped when they realized they had the wrong Roosevelt.
The Gerald R. Ford 33-1/3 cent piece
A truly exoctic coin, commemorating the only U.S. President who was never elected to office.
"We're very excited about this coin," said Chief Engraver Ian Smithson. "Three of these equal exactly one dollar, something that has never happened before in numismatic history."
The coin is about the same diameter as a golf ball, and dimpled like one also. "It's a beautiful coin," quoted another engraver, "we're just waiting for him to die."
The Hubert H. Humphrey 27-cent piece
The "Happy Warrior" coin will be issued next year. Since most states charge 2 cents to the quarter-dollar in sales tax, the coin will eventually eliminate the use of the penny.
The 'Missing Link' 20-cent piece
Many religious sects voiced strong opposition to the release of a coin bearing a likeness of the Missing Link, which spawned large protests at the Philadelphia and Denver plants. Production was postponed as police made several arrests outside the factories.
One of the suspects stated during an interview, "It represents pro-evolution and anti-creationism. It also has a dinosaur on the back. There were no dinosaurs. Those things you see at museums are elephant bones; they just put them together wrong."
The Santa Claus Dime
The coin was released into circulation in 1996, but production was immediately halted after ACLU members were dying off left and right. The mixture of the religious icon the coin commemorated, along with the words "IN GOD WE TRUST", created a double-whammy effect that would kill off any ACLU member the same way Kryptonite can kill Superman.
The Mars Lander Nickel
This coin will be issued in the year 2004 in remembrance of all those missing Mars probes that NASA lost in space. The Obverse of the coin displays the plight of the Mars Polar Lander, while the Reverse shows a milk carton, where many pictures of various Mars probes can be found.
(Actually, I have nothing against NASA. So what if there were a few mistakes; no one remembers any of the successful missions the day after their launch. As far 500 million dollars going down the drain... well, the money wasn't exactly lost. It created or maintained jobs for hundreds of thousands of people who received that money in their paychecks. Think of it as high-tech welfare.)
The Spiro T. Agnew Minus-One-Cent Piece
This trapezoidal-shaped coin was recently released into circulation to alleviate the "penny problem". It is the only known coin with a negative value. For example: instead of lugging around four pennys, a person would only have to carry two coins; a 5-cent piece and a "Spiro".