The Toronto Star newspaper has reported that “an odd-looking Canadian coin with a bright red flower was the culprit behind the U.S. Defence Department’s false espionage warning earlier this year, the Associated Press has learned.”
Seems that some paranoid U.S. Army contractors traveling in Canada filed confidential espionage accounts about these colorful coins (the first color coins in mass circulation) seemed “filled with something man-made that looked like nano-technology.”
Canadian officials were not pleased by the hysterical claim and intelligence and technology experts are still scratching their heads as to why this got out of hand and, needless to say, they are “flabbergasted over the warning.” (source)
Seems the U.S. contractors didn’t know that coloring coins was popular in the Victorian era and Koreans made some Cloisonne coins back in the 19th C.
But there was some minor controversy a few years back when people realized that the poppy on the Canadian quarter could be rubbed off…the Royal Canadian Mint shot back that the color was designed to last three years (to represent the duration of the First World War which it commemmorated).