McDonald’s mints coin to mark Big Mac’s 50th

McDonald’s has minted a coin in more than 50 countries to mark the 50th birthday of the Big Mac.

Called the MacCoin, it will be released tomorrow, August 2, and while it has no real value, it can be exchanged at restaurants for a Big Mac until the end of this year. Many are likely to be retained by collectors.

The fast-food company has had 6.2 million MacCoins pressed, in five designs each reflecting a decade in the life of the Big Mac:

  • The 1970s, showcasing the decade’s flower power.
  • The 1980s alluding to pop art.
  • The 1990s defined with bold, abstract shapes.
  • The early 2000s specifically focusing on the technology that was at the forefront of the turn of the century.
  • The 2010s MacCoin calling attention to the evolution of communication.

The seven languages featured on the front-side of the MacCoin – Arabic, English, Indonesian, Mandarin, Portuguese, French and Spanish – represent many of the countries participating.

Coins can be earned by entering contests via social media channel Twitter and other means depending on the market – they’re not being distributed from restaurants or used as change in stores.

The MacCoin was inspired by The Economist’s Big Mac Index, which is the publishing house’s measure of global spending power (comparing, each year, the price of a Big Mac in many international markets, converting them to a common base currency).

“As one of the most well-known and iconic McDonald’s menu items – and business driver – around the globe, the Big Mac deserves the celebration that the coin evokes,” says Jeff McLean, CFO at McDonald’s Canada. “The fact that in 50 years, the Big Mac has become so universally recognised it’s used to measure the purchasing power of international currencies is pretty remarkable.”

Nick Delligatti, fourth-generation McDonald’s owner-operator and great-grandson of Jim Delligatti, the inventor of the Big Mac, said, “When my great-grandfather Jim Delligatti invented the Big Mac at his grill in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, he just wanted to make his local customers happy. August 2 would have been my great-grandfather’s 100th birthday, and I believe he would be very proud knowing his humble sandwich has made such a lasting impression that people all around the world can enjoy it wherever they find a McDonald’s.”

Originally sold for just 45 cents, the Big Mac is now available in more than 100 countries.

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