With the recent advent of Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin, it would seem that the Internet is the place to be for those interested in alternative currencies. But one rising trend takes a more old school approach, and the results are much nicer to look at.
Artisanal currency is cash that's produced in small batches and used by locals. It’s meant to encourage spending at small businesses and keep money circulating within the community, so don't expect to see it replace the official dollar any time soon.
The bills, designed by local artists and contest winners, also stand out in appearance. Some are graced by pop stars, while others sport more unconventional works of art. The movement is gaining steam in places like Amsterdam, Bristol, U.K., and Ithaca, N.Y. For those of you waiting for artisanal cash to arrive in your neighborhoods, here are some of the loveliest examples from around the world.
1. $10 Bill from Great Barrington, Massachusetts
This $10 bill features a painting of turnips from a local artist. Other bills from Great Barrington showcase historical figures like Norman Rockwell and W.E.B. Dubois.
2. £5 Note from Bristol, U.K.
Bristol's £5 note features art from the winner of a local design contest.
3. £10 Note from the Brixton District of London, U.K.
Artist and Turner Prize Winner Jeremy Deller chose to brand Brixton's £10 note with an image of David Bowie.
4. £20 Note from Bristol, U.K.
The Orca Design Company is behind the scene on Bristol's £20 note.
5. £5 Note from Brixton (Back side)
The opposite side of Jeremy Deller's psychedelic Bowie note.
[h/t: The New York Times]