You might not be aware that the South Pacific island-nation of Tuvalu has a soft spot for John Wayne—at least, if their monetary system is any indication. Released earlier this year, a one-ounce coin bears the likeness of Wayne. Valued at one Tuvalu dollar, the coin is .9999 percent pure silver and legal tender in Tuvalu.
On one side of the coin are two images of Duke: a side view of the actor wearing a typical Western hat and another of him riding a horse while holding a lariat in his right hand. The words “The Duke” are imprinted on the edge. The other side of the coin features an image of Queen Elizabeth II with the Words “Queen Elizabeth II,” “1 oz 9999 AG 2020” (to indicate the coin’s mint date and purity), and “Tuvalu 1 Dollar.” Tuvalu is an independent country that is part of the British Commonwealth.
The coins were produced by the Perth Mint at their factory in Australia on behalf of the government of Tuvalu. A small letter “P” on the John Wayne side of the coin is the Perth Mint’s hallmark.
As of now, you’ll have to buy one of the Duke dollars on the second-hand market, if you can even find one. If more of the John Wayne coins become available, you can find out by signing up for alerts with a coin dealer such as this alert from Apmex.