Under the rule of Russian tsar and notorious beard-hater Peter the Great - which ran from 1682-1725 - men sporting facial hair were subjected to a beard tax that afforded them a token informing strangers that they were honest, tax-paying hairballs. As Erik Jensen explains in a 2003 article from the journal Tax Notes:

For those who elected to forgo the foreplay and keep their beards, one of the nice touches of the beard tax was that payment "entitled the owner to a small bronze medallion with a picture of a beard on it and the words TAX PAID, which was worn on a chain around the neck to prove to any challengers that his beard was legal."


You can read more about the history of Peter's beard tax here.

[Via Neatorama]