Cash by Chanel


By Mary Mullaj

From haute handbags to exclusive eyeglasses, designers have been imaginative in providing the ultimate accessories. There is always great speculation about the next “it bag” or trendy shoes, but it appears that the latest in extravagant accessories is designer…money? Yes, that’s right. Karl Lagerfeld, who always pushes the limits of design, takes the concept of collector-quality accessory to a new level with his series of just-minted Chanel coins. The limited edition collection is made up of a selection of gold and silver pieces, stamped with a portrait of Chanel on one side and a giant number five on the other. The number five is a tribute to Chanel’s signature perfume, as well as the coin’s face value. The really rich can now set themselves apart by carrying distinctive cash, the perfect companion to a Centurion card. While their face value of five euro signifies you can use these coins as legal tender, would you really want to?

The release of the coin collection marks the 125th anniversary of Gabrielle Chanel’s birth.  Although Lagerfeld prefers spending money to collecting it, he might make an exception with these beauties.  He playfully held up one gold coin as a pirate eye patch at the mint in Paris, suggesting an alternate use for one’s money: jewelry. Only 99 of the gold pieces will be created, and then sold for 5900 euros. The rest will be silver. All the coins are already spoken for, although some buyers will be privileged over others; Chanel, naturally, will take a large portion of the edition. The total collection of 11,099 coins goes on sale December 1.