Monday, February 15, 2010

Latvian Gold Coin Issued within the Program "History of Gold"

Face value: 10 lats.


diameter 13.92 mm, weight 1.2442 g (1/25 oz. troy).Material: gold, fineness .999.9.Quality: proof.Struck in 1998 by Valcambi SA (Switzerland).Artists: Laimonis Senbergs, Gunars Cilitis (graphic design), Ligita Franckevica-Ulmane, Janis Strupulis (plaster model).


A motif of the secret seal of Riga Town Council (1368) depicting the small coat of arms of Riga - the city's keys crowned with the Livonian Order's cross - is featured in the centre of the coin. The year 1998, numeral 10 and inscription LATU (lats) are placed beneath the motif.


A motif of the Great Guild's coat of arms (1354) - a golden ship with the city's symbol, two intersected keys topped with a cross, at the top of the mast - is featured in the centre of the coin. The inscription RIGA-800 is placed beneath the motif.



As the 14th century dawned on Riga, battles commenced in the past century resulted in the Livonian Order gaining rule over the city. At the same time the Hanseatic League, an association of significant trading cities around the Baltic Sea, became the century's paramount economic force. Riga, already a member of the League, was decreed the central harbour for discharging transit goods, as well as the main intermediary for trade between Russia, Lithuania and Western Europe.
By mid-century, Riga's social and spiritual life was dominated by artisans' brotherhoods and traders' guilds. Its prosperous citizens immortalized their success and affluence by constructing the Great Guild Hall, a meeting place for Riga's exclusive guild of wealthy German traders. Influenced by cathedral architecture from Northern Germany, by the end of the century St. Peter's Church was fully renovated with an additional Gothic altar and chapels, and remained distinctly elegant with its 136 meter high steeple, Riga's dominant symbol to date.
The coin's reverse bears the Great Guild's coat of arms: a golden ship with two keys crossed at the top of the mast, representing overseas trading. The coin's obverse bears the secret seal of Riga Town Council depicting Riga's small coat of arms of 1368, where the city's keys crowned by the Livonian Order's cross have replaced the symbol of the bishop's power of the previous century.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Polish Olympic Team Vancouver 2010, 200 zl gold coin

A gold coin devoted to Polish Olympic Team in the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver in February 2010.
Obverse:In the central part, a stylized image of a cross-country skier. Below the skier, a stylized image of a snowflake.

Reverse:In the central part, a stylized image of a cross-country skier. Below the skier, a stylized image of a maple leaf.

Coin designer: Ewa Tyc-Karpińska

Face value 200zł
Date of issue 2010-01-20
Metal gold Au 900/1000
Stempel proof
Size 27.0 mm
Weight 15.50 g
Mintage 8 000 pcs

The Olympic Games constitute a great celebration not only for sportsmen. In the ancient times during the sport contests wars were stopped. Unfortunately, the event was mainly for rich people. First of all, preparation for the Games and five days of contests meant the necessity of stopping any work. Secondly, the most popular discipline was horse carts racing and horse maintenance was rather expensive. Moreover, the games could be watched only unmarried men and women. Married women who had been caught watching naked sportsmen were condemned to death. First documented ancient Olympic Games took place in 776 BC. Contemporary summer Olympic Games have been organised since 1896 (they were restarted in Athens), and the winter ones since 1924 (the first took place in Chamonix). At the beginning the sportsmen contested only in 9 sport disciplines: athletics, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, shooting, tennis, weight lifting, wrestling and swimming (rowing was cancelled due to bad weather). Currently according to International Olympic Committee the number of disciplines amounts to 28.

Source: Poland Mint

Monday, February 8, 2010

1 pound 2009 mini English gold coin

Celebrate this very British anniversary with the 2009 50th Anniversary of the Mini £1 Gold Proof Coin. This affordable gold coin, struck for the Channel Island of Alderney, will make an interesting gift not just for coin collectors but also Mini lovers.
Struck in fine gold the coin features a design on its reverse specially created for the 50th anniversary - a side-view image of the classic Mini, created by David Cornell FRSA, FRBS. The obverse bears the portrait of the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS.

The Revolutionary MiniBy the mid-1950s, with Britain starting to recover from the Second World War, fuel was in short supply and petrol rationing was reintroduced. While sales of big cars slumped, there was a boom in more economical vehicles. The British Motor Corporation charged Alec Issigonis with designing something that would actually look like a car, hold four adults, and be small and economical. His design was a revolutionary space-saving front-wheel-drive that for the first time mounted the engine transversely. Virtually all small front-wheel-drive cars that followed employed a similar configuration.
The Racing MiniThe Mini’s popularity soon spread to the world of motor sport when racing driver and carmaker, John Cooper, saw its potential for competition. He developed the Mini Cooper with a racing-tuned engine, twin SU carburettors, a closer-ratio gear-box and front disc brakes. Its superior handling led to 22 victories in important international rallies, including three wins at the famous Monte Carlo Rally. A good number of Mini Coopers are now owned by people of all ages who use them for racing, rallying and stunts, proving that the Mini today is as cool as it always was.
The Swinging SixtiesAlthough many celebrities like The Beatles, Steve McQueen, Twiggy and even Her Majesty The Queen were proud owners of a Mini, its reasonable price tag made it affordable to almost everyone. This was a decade when the number of car owners doubled from 5.6 million to 11.8 million and London saw its first traffic wardens; it was the era of Carnaby Street, mods and rockers, and mini skirts. The Swinging Sixties was the Mini’s heyday and it soon became the country’s most popular car.
A British ClassicThe British Motor Company’s most economical car got its name from an abbreviation of the Latin word for ‘smallest’ – minimus. Within a few years of its launch, the Mini was all the rage, featuring in both big and small screen film productions including The Italian Job, the 1969 movie starring Michael Caine which made international stars of the much-loved British cars, turning them into a motoring icon. The Mini has won many awards over the years including ‘Car of the Century’, ‘Number One Classic Car of All Time’ and ‘European Car of the Century’ in a worldwide Internet poll in 1999.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

2009 Gold Sovereign Coin

General Coin Information
With a coin that can trace its' history back to 1489, the release of the 2009 Perth Mint Gold Proof Sovereign Coin is slated to be the first of annual versions available with a unique Australian design. The Perth Mint has produced gold sovereigns in the past when it was part of the British Royal Mint, but the reverse design of this coin makes it completely Australian.
Henry VII of England was on the throne when the original sovereigns were first issued by the Royal Mint of Britain. With some gaps in production, the sovereign has been minted off and on since that year.
The first design consisted of an image of the king on the obverse with the royal coat of arms on the reverse. In 1817, the reverse was changed to depict Saint George killing a dragon.
As Australia was a territory of Great Britain, the branches of the Royal Mint located there were used to produce the sovereigns for the British government. The Perth Mint, opened in 1899, was one of these branch mints.
More than a century later, the Perth Mint continues the tradition with this new coin. It is slated to be released annually.
The Perth Mint sovereign is composed of 91.67% pure gold (22 carat) which is also known as crown gold. It is considered legal tender of Australia under the Currency Act of 1965 and will ship in circular presentation case.
A mintage limit of 2,500 units is in place on the sovereign. Original issue price was AUS $590, but could be changed dependant upon gold prices.

Obverse Design
A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II is minted on the obverse. Surrounding her are the inscriptions "Queen Elizabeth II", "Australia", "2009" and "25 Dollars".
Reverse Design
The reverse contains the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, which consists of the six badges of the States of the Commonwealth, all placed on a shield. The Crest of the Arms is shown above the shield with a seven-pointed star. The shield is supported by a kangaroo and an emu. Inscribed are the words "Australia" and "Sovereign".
2009 Perth Mint Gold Proof Sovereign Coin Specifications
Mint: Perth Mint of Australia

Mintmark: P

Finish/Condition: Proof

Metal Content: .9167 Pure Gold

Minimum Gross Weight: 7.9881 grams

Diameter: 22.60 mm

Thickness: 1.75 mm

Edge: Reeded

Mintage Limits: 2,500

Issue Date: 15 May 2009

Issue Price: AUS $590

Face Value: AUS $25

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

$300 Gold Coin - British Columbia Coat of Arms (2010)

Coats of arms originated in the Middle Ages. They could only be granted by the king, a tradition that led to an intriguing story for the Coat of Arms of British Columbia (BC). While the province requested a coat of arms in 1897 and a Provincial Shield was granted in 1906, the official arms were not granted until 1987, some 90 years later.

Highlights: This series of 14-karat gold coins provides a unique portrait of Canada, made all the more collectible with a limited mintage of just 500 coins for this latest issue. With a fascinating history and unique status as the first provincial arms to include the Royal Crest, this coin is an absolute must for collectors.

Reverse: A faithful reproduction of BC’s Coat of Arms, the first arms to be granted the Royal Crest. It appears above the Shield with one distinguishing mark; the lion features a garland of dogwoods, BC’s floral emblem. Below the Crest is the golden helmet of sovereignty with other heraldic elements. The elk and bighorn sheep represent the former colonies (Vancouver Island and mainland respectively) while the wavy lines in the Shield reflect BC’s location between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains.

Mintage Limited to 500 coins worldwide
Composition 14-karat gold (58.33% gold, 41.67% silver)
Finish proof
Weight (g) 60.0
Diameter (mm) 50
Certificate serialized
Face value $300
Artist Royal Canadian Mint engravers (reverse), Susanna Blunt (obverse)