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Lucky Charms: Four Leaf Clover image

Lucky Charms: Four Leaf Clover

There’s no need to hunt for a four-leaf clover when the Republic of Palau can deliver one to your door.

THE IRISH held the four leaf clover in high esteem, a tradition that spread throughout the world and continues to this day. Each leaf of this good luck sign is symbolic: one is for faith, the second for hope, the third for love and the fourth for luck. Legend tells us that Eve took a four-leaf clover from paradise as a memento of her time there.

As spring awakens, we anticipate all things Irish and the “wearing o’ the green” on Saint Patrick’s Day. What better way to acknowledge our numismatic inclinations than by acquiring one or both of the lucky, four leaf clover non-circulating, legal-tender (NCLT) coins issued by Palau?

The Republic of Palau is a Pacific island nation some 500 miles east of the Philippines. It is the westernmost archipelago in the Caroline chain, which consists of six island groups with more than 300 islands. After three decades as part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific under U.S. administration, Palau opted for independence in 1978 rather than join the Federated States of Micronesia. A Compact of Free Association with the United States was approved in 1986, but not ratified until 1993. The country has been independent since 1994. U.S. currency is used as legal tender.

In recent years, Palau has authorized many unusual NCLT issues. Struck to proof specifications, the 2007 $1 gold coin shaped like a fourleaf clover and was struck from .5 grams of .999 fine gold, and measures 11 mm in diameter. The mintage is limited to 25,000 coins. The 2006 $5 crown features a real, four leaf clover embedded in the reverse. The legend reads, “Better an ounce of luck than a pound of gold.” The 38.61 mm piece was struck from 1 ounce of .999 silver, mintage is limited to 5,000 pieces. Both obverses bear Palau’s national emblem and the denomination.

In 1620, English merchant, politician and writer Sir John Melton wrote: “If a man walking in the fields should find any four-leaved grass, he shall in a small while after, find some good thing.” With Palau’s four leaf clover issues, that good thing is in your hand.

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