One of the most beautiful series of physical bitcoins has long been from Lealana, a creator from Hawaii. Created in 2013, they are striking for the unexpected combination of traditional bitcoin imagery with Hawaiian-inspired decorative elements.
The “B” is there, front and center, but it floats on a sea of swirling imagery that draws the viewer in as they try to decipher it: A ship’s wheel? The tail feathers of an arrow? A paw print? It’s up to us to look and to see.
The juxtaposition is a refreshing change in a niche field of coinage which often tends more towards the literal as it struggles to artistically depict what bitcoin might stand for.
They are also simply dead gorgeous coins with brilliant proof finishes, made in fine silver in denominations of .1, .25. .5 and 1 BTC. The tenth is made with 1/4 oz. of silver, the quarter with 1/2 oz. and the half and one are made with a full ounce. The diameters vary across the range, with the half and one being the same size (39 mm).
The jewel of the set is the gilded 1 BTC piece, boasting 1 oz of silver and a striking gold “B” and rim.
Standard disclaimer: It’s always, to some degree, a bad idea to let anyone else have access to a private key which controls any of your bitcoin wallets; in a sense, it goes counter to the bitcoin system itself. Once someone else has handled the key which controls your funds, you have to trust both that they exercised adequate security procedures while handling your key, and that they have not save copies of your key to exploit at some point in the unforeseen future. While some (such as Mike Caldwell of Casascius) have established trusted reputations, newer operators can only prove their trustworthiness over time.