Description of the Coin The design of one side was inspired by the staters of the city of Corinth and depicts a soaring Pegasos to the left; below C-I for Cook Islands. The other side features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley ...
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CIT: Numismatic icons — Pegasos and more...

CIT: Numismatic icons — Pegasos

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Description of the Coin

The design of one side was inspired by the staters of the city of Corinth and depicts a soaring Pegasos to the left; below C-I for Cook Islands.

The other side features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley (initials: IRB); around it the name of the ruler, the issuing nation, and the denomination.

 

Background

Pegasos is one of the most commonly depicted creatures on Greek coinage. And there’s a good reason for it: The motif of the Pegasos was featured on coins from Corinth. And this city, located on the Isthmus and named after Corinth, was a trading center that founded numerous colonies. All the colonies of Corinth adopted the currency of their mother city: Staters depicting a Pegasos. To show where a “Corinthian” stater came from, the colonies put the first letter of their city’s name on the obverse, directly below the Pegasos. Thus, CIT’s designers followed an ancient Greek tradition when they decided to abbreviate the issuing nation as “CI” for Cook Islands and to place this inscription below the Pegasos.

The reason why Corinth attached such an importance to the Pegasos is that it was said to have been tamed in this very city. With the help of the goddess Athena, the Corinthian hero Bellerophon threw a bridle over the winged stallion Pegasos in order to ride him. And therefore, Pegasos carried him through the air when Bellerophon fought the Chimera.

Inspired by Greek coinage, CIT developed “Pegasos” — a coin that reinterprets Greek imagery with state-of-the-art technology. The ancient engravers would have been fascinated by the lifelike depiction of the horse taking off for flight. For the first time, this new issue of the “Numismatic Icons” series is not only available in silver but also in gold. To this end, CIT combined the material gold and smartminting technology with an elaborate antique finish for the very first time. The result is coins of a kind that couldn’t have been more beautiful if the ancient Greeks had created them.

For further information about the coin, please click here for the silver coin and here for the gold coin.

Don’t miss out on watching this film to experience all three dimensions of this incredible coin.

 

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France: “Museum Masterpieces” gold and silver coin collection continues with impressionist painting by Claude Monet

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The Monnaie de Paris has launched the latest range of gold and silver coins which is part of their ongoing series entitled “Museum Masterpieces.” Introduced in 2017, the series pays tribute to the greatest masterpieces which are part of renowned collections in French museums, or those painted in France. When completed, the collection will include designs from different artistic currents and influences of history. For 2022, the set features the artistic genius of Claude Monet (1840–1926), considered the father of Impressionism as he propelled the influence to its height during his lifetime. 

The set of rectangular-shaped coins in both gold and silver recreates on the obverse side, Le Bassin aux Nymphéas, Harmonie Verte, depicting a bridge over a water lily pond.

The largest silver Proof coin includes a vivid colour version along with detail of its original frame as it is seen in the Museum. Below the primary design on the colour version is a cartel indicating the name of the work and that of the artist as well as the year 2022, completing the recreation in its museum environment. For the gold and silver coins without colour, the circular logo CHEFS D’ŒUVRE DES MUSÉES (“Museum Masterpieces”) is present in the upper right-hand corner.

The reverse, which is common to the entire series, cleverly presents a mixture of views from several major French museums. The text REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE, along with the coins’ denomination, are also integrated into the design. 

Denom. Metal  Weight  Dimensions  Quality  Maximum Mintage 
10 euro .999 Silver 22.2 g 38 x 29.1 mm Proof 3,000
50 euro .999 Silver 100 g 56.4 x 43.4 mm  Proof 500
250 euro .999 Silver 500 g 90 x 69 mm Proof with applied colour 300
50 euro .999 Gold 7.78 g 23 x 17.7 mm Proof 500

The €10 and €50 silver and €50 gold coins are struck to Proof quality and are available to purchase as separate items. For additional information about these and other coins available from the Monnaie de Paris, please visit their website.

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Pobjoy Mint — British Virgin Islands: New crown coins released to mark 20th anniversary of the British Overseas Territories Act 

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Editor’s Note: The mintage of the $10 coin is 2,000 and not 1,000 as previously indicated

The treasury of the British Virgin Islands has released new crown coins marking the 20th anniversary of the ratification of the British Overseas Territories Act 2002. This is an act of Parliament by the United Kingdom which made legal provisions for renaming all British Dependent Territories as British Overseas Territories and granting those persons with associated UK citizenship full citizenship. As a result of the Act, all who were citizens prior to the 21st May 2002 of any British Overseas Territory immediately and automatically became full British citizens on that date. Prior to this date, British citizenship was automatically granted on request only to citizens from Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands. Presently, there are fourteen territories with a constitutional and historic link with the United Kingdom though they do not form part of the United Kingdom itself. The permanently inhabited territories are internally self-governing, with all fourteen territories retaining the British monarch as head of state and with the United Kingdom retaining responsibility for defence and foreign relations. Three of the territories are inhabited only by a transitory population of military or scientific personnel with the population of all territories totalling just over 272,000 persons.

The new coins are produced by the Pobjoy Mint at their facilities in Surrey, England, on behalf of the treasury of the British Virgin Islands. The reverse design, which is shared on both cupro-nickel and silver strikes, is based on an exquisite and classic rendition of the Three Graces created by Royal Mint chief engraver William Wyon in 1817. The design was never circulated but highly prized pattern crown coins were struck and the design is considered one of the most sought-after pieces. The shield at their feet depicts the coat of arms of the British Virgin Islands to signify the connection to the country as a British Overseas Territory. The motto FOEDUS INVIOLABILE, translated as “Unbreakable League,” is seen to the left and right of the primary design, the motto emphasising the connection further and to commemorate this anniversary. The denomination $10 (silver) or $1 (cupro-nickel) is shown just below the Three Graces. The obverse of the coin features an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, which is an exclusive design of the Pobjoy Mint. The year of issue 2022 is included within the legend surrounding the Queen’s likeness.

Denom.

Metal 

Weight  Diameter  Quality 

Mintage Limit 

1 dollar

Cupro-nickel

28.2 g 38.6 mm Brilliant Unc.

10,000

10 dollars

.925 Silver

28.2 g 38.6 mm Proof

2,000

The Brilliant Uncirculated coins are presented in a micro-fibre cloth pouch. The silver Proof coins are encapsulated and presented in a custom case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For additional information about these and other coins issued by the treasury of the British Virgin Islands, please click here.

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World record-breaking $103.5 million paid for Nobel Peace Prize donated by laureate Journalist Dmitry Muratov  

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A record price was realised at auction for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize medal awarded to Russian journalist and Laureate Dmitry Muratov. The gold medal was sold in its original box together with the honourary certificate for an astonishing and record-breaking U.S. $103.5 million and auctioned in aid of UNICEF’s humanitarian efforts primarily for Ukrainian children. The event was conducted by Heritage Auctions Monday evening in New York City coinciding with World Refugee Day; the successful bidder stated they wish to remain anonymous. As motivation for auctioning his Nobel Peace Prize medal, the journalist who is based in Moscow emphasised the most important message today for his actions is that of a war going on in Europe. He also stressed that everyone must do what they can to help people who are suffering the most, especially Ukrainian children. After the medal’s sale, Muratov commented he had hoped there would be interest and a great amount of money raised but he hadn’t anticipated such a huge amount. All of the proceeds from the sale, as well as the buyer’s fee, will be donated to the UNICEF Child Refugee Fund. Heritage Auctions also communicated later in the day they had worked to ensure the winning bid is already in UNICEF’s possession.

Muratov, the 60-year-old journalist and editor of Russian-based newspaper Novaya Gazeta, broke with his government’s policy when his newspaper ran the front-page story about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The headlines of the 24th February first edition ran with “Russia Is Bombing Ukraine,” with articles printed side by side in both Russian and Ukrainian. The headlines resulted in the newspaper having to cease operations for the first time with their last edition published on the 28th March of this year.

The outspoken opponent of the president of Russia’s foreign and domestic policies has on many occasions found himself at odds with government authorities, with Novaya Gazeta criticising many Russian authorities for corruption, electoral fraud, and human rights violations. Sadly, there have been six journalists associated with this newspaper who have lost their lives because of critical articles on Russian military operations, notably in Chechnya and the Caucasus, the best known of them was Anna Politkovskaya.

Muratov’s career as a journalist began before the dissolution of the former Soviet Union when he was assigned to a local newspaper. After the Soviet Union came to an end in 1991, he and other journalists co-founded the newspaper Novaya Gazeta. The daily publication soon became a leading advocate for democracy and freedom of expression in Russia with Mr. Muratov acting as editor-in-chief for most years since 1995. The Soviet Union’s last leader and the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mikhail Gorbachev, not only supported the newspaper financially, he became co-owner in 2006.

Dmitry Muratov was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 alongside Filipino journalist and former CNN correspondent Maria Ressa for their work in promoting independent reporting in the face of growing authoritarianism. Disapproval of Ukrainian policy of the government and the president, in particular, is not new to Muratov as he has on several occasions criticised Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the government’s use of military force, both in and outside Russia. As such, he and Ressa were voted to be the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize of 2021 with their certificate stating:

For their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace. 

The exclusive medals, which weigh 175 grams of .750 fine gold, are produced by the Norwegian Mint in Kongsberg. They were awarded in person to both journalists on the 10th December 2021 at City Hall in Oslo in the presence of HM King Harald V and HM Queen Sonja. In his acceptance speech, Muratov commented:

Yes, we growl and bite. Yes, we have sharp teeth and a strong grip, but we are the prerequisite for progress. We are the antidote against tyranny.

– Dmitry Muratov, Oslo, 10th December 2021

Prophetically, his speech also gave a dire warning about the potential for a war between Russia and Ukraine. As the Russian government were amassing a military build-up on the border with Ukraine and despite the efforts of western diplomats to avoid an invasion of Ukraine, the threat became real on the 24th February.

Muratov not only auctioned off his gold medal in aid of UNICEF’s humanitarian efforts for Ukrainian children, but he also donated his entire U.S. $1 million monetary prize to various charities in Russia. One of which was a health foundation in aid of journalists as well as the Anna Politkovskaya Prize Foundation. A further portion of the prize money also was donated to a children’s hospice in Moscow and a clinic where children with leukaemia are treated.

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United Kingdom: New range of commemorative gold and silver 50-pence coins released for Commonwealth Games

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The Royal Mint has released new precious metal and cupro-nickel commemorative 50-pence coins which mark the hosting of the XXII Commonwealth Games. Also known as the 2022 Commonwealth Games, or just as Birmingham 2022, the international multi-sport event for members of the British Commonwealth of Nations is scheduled to be hosted in Birmingham, England, from the 28th July to the 8th August 2022. It is the third time England will host the Commonwealth Games after London in 1934 and Manchester in 2002. 

The seven-sided coins are designed by Natasha Preece with the seal of the Commonwealth Games Federation featuring prominently and centred along with smaller representations shown on either side with a background of an intertwined geometric overlapping circles pattern representing the Library of Birmingham and borrowing from the architecture of the building. Below the Federation logo is the commemorative text BIRMINGHAM 2022 COMMONWEALTH GAMES arranged in three lines of text.

The obverse bears the fifth definitive effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II designed by engraver Jody Clark and seen on all British circulation and commemorative coinage since 2015. The denomination 50 PENCE is part of the legend encircling the Queen’s likeness. 

*Each colour Brilliant Uncirculated version also includes an insignia below the primary design denoting the English, Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Ireland teams from Great Britain. The blister-pak folder also includes this insignia on the front cover and their mintage is as follows: 7,510 ENGLAND, 5,010 SCOTLAND, 5,010 WALES, and 5,010 NORTHERN IRELAND. 

Denom.

Metal  Weight  Diameter  Quality 

Maximum Mintage 

50 pence

Cupro-nickel

8 g 27.3 mm Brilliant Unc.

Unlimited

50 pence

Cupro-nickel 8 g 27.3 mm Brilliant Unc. with applied colour

*22,540

50 pence

.925 Silver

8 g 27.3 mm Proof with applied colour

4,760

50 pence

.925 Silver

16 g 27.3 mm Proof with applied colour

1,260

50 pence

.9167 Gold

15.5 g 27.3 mm Proof

410

Both Brilliant Uncirculated cupro-nickel coin versions are housed in a blister-pak type folder with informative text and illustrations. Both versions of the sterling silver Proof coins are presented in a custom black vinyl case and the gold Proof coins are presented in a polished hardwood case; all are accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity. For additional information about the Commonwealth Games commemorative range, please click here.

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