By George Hart for the Museum of Mathematics

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The diameters of US quarters and pennies are very close to the ratio needed to make a truncated icosahedron, i.e., a soccer ball in the US or a football elsewhere. Copper pennies take the place of the usually black pentagons and quarters take the place of the usually white hexagons, so even the colors work out. This ball was soldered together by Cory Poole.

Puzzle: Can you work out what it cost before looking at the answer found here?

pennyandquartersoccerball Math Monday: Make a Ball of Money

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Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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