"Mac Coin" commemorates Big Mac 50th anniversary

McDonald's Mac Jr Big Mac 4

McDonald's Grand Mac and Mac Jr. have been available for limited periods. Hollis Johnson

The MacCoin, which was unveiled on Sunday by the fast food giant, will be available to customers in 14,000 participating stores in the United States and can be cashed in for one free Big Mac.

Each coin entitles the holder to one Big Mac, the company said Sunday.

That day would have been the 100th birthday of Jim Delligatti, the man who invented the Big Mac almost 50 years ago, McDonalds CEO, Steve Easterbrook told USA Today.

In 1986, The Economist started using the Big Mac Index as a way of measuring the purchasing power of worldwide currency. At least we know its exact value, though: one Big Mac, or about $3.99. The coins also happen to go into circulation three days before what would have been the 100th birthday of the inventor of the Big Mac, a meal that originally sold for $0.45.

Suggesting the global appeal of the iconic burger, there are seven languages featured across the various designs: Arabic, English, Indonesian, Mandarin, Portuguese, French and Spanish.

The MacCoin will be redeemable at 14,000 USA locations so chances are there'll be one close to you that'll take what the fast food empire is hailing as the "first fully food-back global currency".

MacCoins will be available in five collectable designs representing five decades of the Big Mac, MCDonald's noted in a tweet.

The Rubik's cube, the Blarney stone, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Big Mac.

"When my great-grandfather Jim Delligatti invented the Big Mac at his grill in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, he just wanted to make his local customers happy", fourth-generation McDonald's owner-operator Nick Delligatti said in a release.

"The company has benefited from the ingenuity of its small business men", wrote Ray Kroc, who transformed the McDonald's into a global franchise, in his book, "Grinding It Out".

Messing with a signature menu item can be taboo, but keeping the Big Mac unchanged comes with its own risks. McDonald's added the Big Mac to its national menu in 1968 after Delligatti tested the burger in his Pittsburgh restaurants.

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