Peace nickels (finding coins)

Ever lay a coin on the ground and see watch people’s reactions?

Why not put a sticker on the back with a word to peak the finder’s curiosity. Or even better yet, use a combination of words so when the coins are picked up they can be read several different ways. Just as coins add up to a certain amount of money, these phrases will add up to a certain amount of of meaning.

Just as 45 cents is arbitrary to how much it’s worth to someone, the meaning behind the different combination of words is arbitrary.


  • is there peace
  • there is peace
  • peace is there

“Peace” also sounds like “piece” kinda relating to coins. Coins are a piece of a dollar. Another word possibility is using the word “change.”

Here is a selected sampling of nickels that I placed around downtown Chicago. On the left of each example is a closeup photo showing the words on the nickels. After placing the nickels and taking this photo, I would flip the coins over to hide the message. On the right of each example is a photo showing the context of the nickel placement in the public.

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Eliana Briones
19 years ago

I love this idea. In our area some high school kids made little items, such as necklaces and attached a meaning to them…as well as a means of contact, they hid them all through the downtown area. I haven’t gone to see if I could find something yet…but maybe I will unknowingly come across something..

19 years ago

WOW.. Talk about tripy. I work in Evanston and had one of the coins come tru my job (small store). Nice Idea,

19 years ago

i love nickels. they are great. they are nice and thick like a steak. I collect nickels. I don’t collect steaks.

18 years ago

being a nickelhead, i was confused by this series at first. I was scared that spud was desecrating the honor all that is great about the nickel. The more i think about it, spud is capturing the essence of all that is great about the nickel. The nickel is our friend. The nickel is there when we need to make 30 cents in change when we have no dimes. The nickel is there when we want to see a coin stand on its side easily. Now, the nicke is there to spread the message of peace.

16 years ago

Dimes keep showing up for me to find in so many different places. Not sure why this is, and always dimes. Thank you in advance for any insite as to what this means? Karen : – )

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