Ancient tombs and even a skeleton lend a spooky touch to world, U.S. paper money: Collecting the Macabre

Coin World's October cover feature profiles the scarier side of numismatics
By , Coin World
Published : 09/19/14
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Editor’s note: In the October monthly Coin World cover feature, several staff writers embraced the spirit of Halloween and highlighted the spookier items in numismatics. This is one of a series of articles from the Collecting the Macabre feature that will appear online at 

Read more from the series:

Graveyards, cemeteries and other final resting places have been used as the settings for scary stories throughout time.

All manner of traditions and superstitions involving passing through or near a graveyard have grown up around the idea of spirits of the dead haunting particular places.

But collectors of paper money don’t have to be spooked. Depictions of final resting places can become a theme for collecting.

Many world notes feature designs showing ancient and modern burial places .


For example, the depiction of an ancient portal tomb can be found on the back of the 2009 Clydesdale Bank £100 note.

The design depicts a group of Neolithic monuments, part of the UNESCO Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site on the Scottish island of Orkney.

These monuments include a large, chambered tomb, sometimes referred to as a cairn, called Maeshowe. Nearby the tomb are two ceremonial stone rings — the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness.

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