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Friday, 29 December 2017

636) Mexican Libertad Gold and Silver Bullion coins: 2017 issues include Gold and Silver Kilo coins in extremely limited mintage, celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Kilo coin issues by "La Casa de Moneda de Mexico" (Mint of Mexico):

636) Mexican Libertad Gold and Silver Bullion coins: 2017 issues include  Gold and Silver Kilo coins in extremely limited mintage,  celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Kilo coin issues by "La Casa de Moneda de Mexico" (Mint of Mexico):

Libertad coins are gold and silver bullion coins, which are sold in 1/20, 1/10, 1/4, 1/2 and 1 Troy Ounce weights for both gold and silver coins. For the last 15 years, this coin has also been minted in one Kilo gold weights.

These bullion coins have a metal composition of .999 fine Silver (Ag) or .999 fine Gold (Au).  These coins are valued for their beautiful classic designs as well as their Gold and Silver content.

The one Kilo Silver gold coin issued in 2017 placed against the background of the first page representation of the Codex Mendoza.

               A representation of the first page of the Codex Mendoza

The Codex Mendoza is an Aztec Code created 15 years after the 1521 Spanish conquest of Mexico, with the intent that it be seen by Charles , the Holy Roman Emperor and the King of Spain. It contains the history of the Aztec Kings and their conquests, a list of the tribute paid by the conquered, and a description of daily Aztec life in traditional Aztec pictograms with Spanish explanations and commentary. The Codex was named after the Spanish Viceroy Don Antonio de Mendoza who commissioned the Codex. 

The Reverse of this coin has traditionally had the  image of the winged Victoria of the Mexican Independence Victory Column in front of a landscape showing the two famous volcanoes Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl. The purity and weight of the Silver or Gold, the year of issue and the fineness of the metal used are imprinted (generally in Spanish) on the outer edge of this face.

On the Obverse of the coin is depicted the Coat of Arms of Mexico which shows a Golden Eagle perched on a cactus, with a serpent (rattlesnake) in its beak.

The original design of the Libertad was patterned on the Mexican "Centenario" Gold Coin (The "Centenario" is a Mexican Gold bullion coin which was first minted in 1921 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Mexico's Independence from Spain.

The recent versions of the Libertad depict the Winged Victoria from another angle and the other side depicts the Coat of Arms of Mexico in the centre, surrounded by historical Mexican Coat of Arms of the ten Unites States of Mexico (USM).

The Mexican Libertad is an internationally acclaimed series brought out by the Mint of Mexico. The Libertad pre-dates most other popular modern bullion coins with only a few exceptions, such as - the Canadian Maple Leaf and the South African Krugerrand.

The Gold Coin variants of the Libertad were first introduced by the Mexican Mint in 1981, followed by a 1 Troy Ounce Silver Coin minted in 1982. Interestingly, these coins were minted in limited numbers and are highly sought after collector items.

Winged Victoria: Victoria in ancient Roman religion was the personified goddess of victory and is the equivalent of the Greek Goddess Nike, associated with Bellona. She was adapted from the Sabine Agricultural goddess Vacuna and had a temple dedicated to her on the Palantine Hill, which is the centre-most of the Seven-Hills of Rome, apart from several other temples built in her honour. 

Victoria was a symbol of victory over death and determined who would be successful during war. She was worshipped by triumphant generals returning from war.

Victoria was often depicted on Roman coins, jewellery, architecture and pieces of art, seen in a chariot or a "quadriga" (a four horse driven chariot).

Mexican Independence Victory Column:

The "Angel of Independence" most commonly known as "El Angel", officially known as "Monumento a la Independencia" (meaning "Monument of Independence") is a victory column on a round-about on the major thoroughfare of "Paseo de la Reforma" in Mexico City.

It was built in 1910 to commemorate the centennial of the beginning of Mexico's War of Independence. Later, it was converted into a mausoleum for the most important heroes of that war.

The base of the column is quadrangular with each vertex featuring a bronze sculpture symbolising law, war, justice and peace. The column stands 148 feet tall. Crowning the column is a 6.7 metres (22 feet approx.) statue of Victoria. It is made of bronze, covered with 24 Karat gold and weighs 7 tonnes. In her right hand, the Angel holds a laurel crown symbolising victory, while in her left hand she holds a broken chain symbolising  freedom.

                The statue of Victoria above the Victory Column


This is an active stratovolcano, located in the states of Puebla, Mexico and Morelos in Central Mexico which lies in the Eastern half of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. At 5,426 metres (or 17,802 feet) it is the second highest peak in Mexico, after Citlaltepetl (Pico de Orizaba) which stands at 5,636 metres (or 18,491 feet).

Popocatepetl is linked to the Iztaccihuatl volcano to the North by the high saddle known as the Paso de Cortes.


This is a dormant volcanic mountain in Mexico  located on the border between the State of Mexico and Puebla. It is the third highest peak in Mexico standing at 5,230 metres (or 17,160 feet). The name "Iztaccihuatl" in Nahuati means "White Woman", reflecting the four individual snow-capped peaks which depict the head, chest, knees and feet of a sleeping female when seen from East to West.

Iztaccihuatl lies to the North of Popocatepetl, to which it is connected by the Paso de Cortes.

These two volcanoes together tell a story of two lovers from warring families similar to Romeo anf Juliet - The volcanoes represent the warrior Iztaccihuatl mourning the death of his beloved Popocatepetl.

About the Mint of Mexico:

The Mint of Mexico (La Casa de Moneda de Mexico) is the National Mint of Mexico. It was established in 1535 during the period of the Spanish Viceroyalty, with permission being granted from the  Spanish Crown. This is the oldest Mint in the American Continents.

Interestingly, Peso coins made at this mint were widely circulated to Asia, including China and Japan and the rest of the Americas.

The latest Silver Libertad bullion coins issued by the Mint of Mexico:

The 2017 Silver Libertad is a Mexican .999 fine Silver Bullion coin which is available in a range of more than a half dozen sizes, including fractional issues. As mentioned earlier, the Mexican Libertad has been minted since 1981 (it was only once offered as a Platinum Proof coin). The one-ounce Silver Libertad was first struck in 1982 and since 1991, it has been minted in an array of other sizes.

The 2017 Silver Libertads have been minted in the usual variety of sizes, including - 1/20 Ounce, 1/10 Ounce, 1/4 Ounce, 1/2 Ounce, 1 Ounce, 2 Ounce, and 5 Ounce pieces/coins.

An interesting variation of the 2017 Silver Libertad issue is a coin of one kilogram weight which is of Brilliant Uncirculated coin quality.
The Obverse of a one Ounce (1 Onza - in Spanish) Silver Libertad coin issued in 2017

The Obverse of the 2017 Silver Libertads feature Mexico's National Coat of Arms, which depicts a Mexican Eagle perched on a cactus with a snake writhing in its beak. The Coat of Arms is contained within a circular design element, with the bottom half of the circular border composed of a wreath and the top half indicated by the legend "ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS" (meaning "MEXICAN UNITED STATES" or "UNITED STATES OF MEXICO").

Surrounding the central feature are ten smaller versions of the National Seal/Coat of Arms, all featuring the Mexican Eagle in various symbolic poses representing the 10 United States of Mexico (USM).
The Reverse of the one Ounce Silver Libertad coin issued in 2017

On the Reverse of the 2017 Silver Libertads, the statue of the winged goddess Victoria is in the centre. The Reverse side depiction, even though it shows neither the urban jungle of Mexico City nor depicts the laurel crown/wreath and the broken chain seen on the iconic statue, is nevertheless rooted in realism.

Victoria's engraving on the coin is strikingly similar to the physical pose as she holds on the statue and the peaks of the two volcanoes - Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl, rising less than 50 miles South-east of the famous statue are rather similar to the actual peaks and which can be seen on clear days from Mexico City.

Across the top half of the Reverse face along the periphery is inscribed "1 ONZA PLATA PURA 2017 LEY .999" (meaning "1 OUNCE  PURE SILVER .999 FINE"). The "La Casa Moneda de Mexico" or "Mint of Mexico's" mintmark "oM" (a small "o" on top of a larger, capital "M") is seen in the upper-right quadrant of the Reverse field.

The specifications of these coins are:

Denomination: 1/20 Ounce, 1/10 Ounce, 1/4 Ounce, 1/2 Ounce, 1 Ounce, 2 Ounces, 5 Ounces; Mint: Mint of Mexico; Mintmark: "oM"; Metal Composition:  .999 Silver (Au); Weight: 31.1 grams; Diameter/Size: 40.0 mm; Edge: Reeded; Coin Quality: Business Strike, Proof, Special Finish, Brilliant Uncirculated; Year of Issue: 2017

One Kilo Silver Libertad:

In 2017, the One Kilo Silver Libertad coin is in its 15th year of issue. To celebrate the occasion, the Bank of Mexico has released a high-relief Kilo Libertad with a special beautiful wood-case and a statue of the Winged Angel of Liberty that sits on top of it.
The Obverse of the one Kilo Coin presents the Mexican National Seal/Emblem, with an eagle sitting atop a cactus surrounded by symbols representing Mexico's 10 Provinces.
The Reverse of the one Kilo Coin depicts the Victoria statue of Mexican Independence Column in front of the twin volcanic mountains of Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl surrounded by the weight purity and date.

The mintage of this Brilliant Uncirculated coin is 200 pieces only, the lowest ever mintage for a Kilo coin.

On the other hand, the Proof-like Libertad Kilo coin released earlier this year come with a mintage of 500 pieces.
The high relief 1 Kilo coin comes in this special wooden case with a statue of Victoria perched on top of it

The specifications of this coin are:

Denomination: 1 Kilo; Metal content: 32.15 Troy Ounce (Oz); Metal Composition: .999 Silver (Au); Diameter/Size: 110.0 mm; Thickness: 11.5 mm; Mint: "La Casa Moneda de Mexico" (Mint of Mexico); Mintmark: "oM"; Mintage: 200 pieces;  Year of Issue :2017.

Gold Libertad coins:

The Obverse of a 1 Oz (One Ounce) Gold Coin variant shows similar features as the Silver Bullion coins
The Reverse of a 1 Oz Gold Coin variant issued in 2016 exhibits all the features as the Silver Bullion coin. The peripheral Inscription reads in Spanish - "1 ONZA ORO PURO 2016 LEY .999" and bears the Mint of Mexico's Mint mark "oM".

Links to some other interesting posts on South American countries and Mexico:

Saturday, 23 December 2017

635) Alfred Adler (1870-1937): The Vienna Schools of Psychotherapy 50 Euro Gold Coin Series minted by the Austrian Mint: being issued on 24.01.2018 (coin launched by the Mint on 19.12.2017):

635) Alfred Adler (1870-1937): The Vienna Schools of Psychotherapy 50 Euro Gold Coin Series minted by the Austrian Mint: being issued on 24.01.2018 (coin launched by the Mint on 19.12.2017):

Alfred Adler (1870-1937):

The second coin in "The Vienna Schools of Psychotherapy" Gold Coin Series, is dedicated to Alfred Adler and the second Viennese School of Psychotherapy. Originally a member of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic movement, Adler left Freud to found the Society for Individual Psychology in 1912.

Individual Psychology: became a viable alternative to Psychoanalysis and like the other two pioneers honoured in this Series, Adler had a major impact on the development of Psychotherapy, the scientific discipline established in Vienna in the 20th Century.

Free Thinker: Born in Vienna in 1870, Adler was the second of 7 children born to Hungarian-Jewish parents.

After his studies at the University of Vienna, he became an ophthalmologist before moving into general practice. His clinical experience led him to conclude that each patient should be viewed as a unique entity, that they are free beings who are not determined by our instincts and that we have to solve the cultural responsibilities that life imposes on them. 

This idea made individual psychology a therapeutic alternative to psychoanalysis, a development that was temporarily hindered by the First World War, during which Adler served as a doctor with the Austrian Army.

After the war, Adler's influence grew considerably. From 1927, he was a regular visitor to the USA, where his optimistic view of humanity achieved great popularity. 

In the early 1930s, Adler's Jewish heritage led to the closure of his Austrian clinics and he left the country of his birth for a Professorship at the Long Island College of Medicine. One of the world's best known psychologists of his time, Adler passed away in 1937, while on a lecture tour in Scotland.

The Commemorative Coin:

An image of the Obverse and Reverse faces of the 50 Euro Gold Coin

The Obverse of the 50 Euro Gold Coin depicts a three-quarter left facing portrait of Alfred Adler along with the vertical text REPUBLIK OSTERREICH", the name "ALFRED ADLER", the year of issue "2018" and the denomination of the coin "50 EURO".

The Reverse of the 50 Euro Gold Coin depicts a stylised image of a family unit  of three - a little community - the key concept in Adler's Individual Psychology.

The specifications of this coin are:
Denomination: 50 Euro; Metal Composition: .986 Gold (Au); Weight: 7.78 grams or 0.25 Oz; Total Weight: 7.89 grams; Diameter/Size: 22.0 mm; Coin Quality: Proof; Maximum Mintage: 20,000 pieces; Year of minting: 2017 (with the coin available from 24.01.2018, with the year "2018" also marked as the year of issue); Mint: Austrian Mint; Coin Designers: Mag. Helmut Andexlinger, Herbert Wahner.

The coin comes in a case complete with a numbered Certificate Of Authenticity (COA) and a branded Austrian Mint protective custom slipcase.

A purpose-designed Presentation case, which houses all three coins in the Series  is also available complete with a decorative slipcase featuring a period picture of a patient lying on a psychoanalyst's couch.

The next coin in the Series will be dedicated to Viktor Emil Frankl  (1905-1997), who was founder of Logo-therapy, the theory which is founded on the belief that human nature is motivated by the search for a life purpose.


1) The 25 Euro Silver-Niobium Coin Series issued by the Austrian Mint: First Coin: "700 Years of Hall City in Tirol or Tyrol"

Friday, 22 December 2017

634) Noah's Ark: A 500 Dram Collector's Banknote from the Central Bank of Armenia in circulation from 22.11.2017:

634) Noah's Ark: A 500 Dram Collector's Banknote from the Central Bank of Armenia in circulation from 22.11.2017:

The Central Bank of Armenia has issued a new commemorative Banknote on 22.11.2017 which showcases the tale of Noah's Ark - a biblical story  with a significant connection to the land of Armenia and its people. 

In the Book of Genesis, the Mountains of Ararat are the place where Noah's Ark came to land after the great flood. Near the top of Mount Ararat, long considered a historical symbol of Armenian identity, explorers have found remnants of the Noah's Ark beneath the snow and volcanic debris on Mount Ararat, in present day Turkey.

The 500 Dram Banknote is printed on an alternative to traditional cotton fibre paper, which combines paper covered with thin polyester layers on both sides and was developed by the Germany-based company Louisenthal, a subsidiary of the Note paper/printing, security paper making/printing and security features innovation  major Gisenke & Devrient (G & D).

The Hybrid Banknote substrate  combines the advantages of paper Bank Notes and polymer Bank Notes together in an innovative combination of protective polyester film around a cotton fibre core. Such Banknotes are presently circulating in four continents - Africa, America, Asia and Europe and combine security with durability.

The Front of the 500 Dram Banknote features images of a Reliquary (meaning "a container of Relics") with a fragment of Noah's Ark and the Monastery of Etchmiadzin. In the background is Mount Ararat.

The Back of the 500 Dram Banknote features images of Noah along with his family, with animals and birds around them. In the background is Mount Ararat.

The Size of the Banknote is 140 x 76 mm and its pre-dominant colours are gold, grey, brown and blue. The Banknote is dated "2017".

Salient Security Features:

Substrate - The Banknote has been printed on Hybrid"TM" - a high quality composite substrate based on a cotton paper, covered with thin polyester layers on both sides.

Watermark: The multi-tone watermark with an image of the Noah's Ark and the two-tone watermark reflecting the nominal value of the bank note:

Security Thread: A window security thread with an effect of colour shifting from gold to green. It contains bright "swimming" 3 D circles and inter-changeable sections - an image of the Noah's Ark and de-metallized patterns "500" and "AMD":

Transparent window: There is a transparent window with a precisely defined image of the Noah's Ark:

Intaglio printing: On the Front of the Banknote, the images of the Noah's Ark Reliquary and the Monastery of Etchmiadzin, as well as the denominational value of the Banknote in figures and in letters are printed in intaglio - they have a raised surface, which one can feel with fingertips:

Micro-text and micro-images:
The Front and Back of the Banknote are equipped with micro-text and micro-images, which can be identified with a magnifying glass:

UV Feature:
The Front and Back of the Banknote have areas printed with fluorescent ink, which become visible only under the ultra-violet light/rays:

Kinegram: Security Foil on the Front of the Banknote containing 3D image of the Noah's Ark fragment with dynamic and colour shifting effects from gold to green, as well as, bright patterns in the upper and lower parts of the Noah Ark Reliquary:

Optically Variable Ink: Security feature on the Front of the Banknote in the form of a dove with an olive branch in its beak and contains colour-shifting  effect from gold the green and  bright "swimming" 3D circles:

Posted on 30.03.2018:

At the High Security Printing (HSP) Conference 2018, held in Warsaw recently, this G & D printed 500 Dram Armenian Banknote was selected as the "Regional Banknote of the Year for the EMEA Region" (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).

The following reasons were cited by the Selection Committee:

This  Banknote is Armenia's first collector's Banknote and has generated much interest worldwide.

The "Galaxy (R)", "LaserCut (TM)" and "RollingStar (R) LEAD" security elements which are harmoniously integrated into the overall layout and substrate enable quick and unambiguous verification through their distinctive colour effects.

The colour shift from gold to green is dynamic and eye-catching. The high gloss depicts the value of gold.

The motif of Noah's Ark is included multiple times in this Banknote - as a watermark within the "LaserCut (TM)" window, where it can be seen when the light shines through it; on the Front of the Banknote, which depicts the shrine which is said to contain a gragment of Noah's Ark according to the tradition of the Armenian church.

The wooden plank with a cross above it is created using the "RollingStar(R) LEAD" optically variable effect from the G & D subsidiary Louisenthal and looks brilliant and stunning. This security feature is based on microscopically small mirrors that are linked with other optically variable effects.

The  "Galaxy (R)" security thread combines a dynamic colour shift from gold to green with a striking 3D effect that can be seen from any tilting angle - it is even identifiable in poor light and without specialist training. Its optical and dynamic effects are synchronised with those of "RollingStar(R) LEAD".

In addition, it is Armenia's first denomination to be based on the Hybrid (TM) substrate from the Louisenthal paper mill, which is particularly resistant, as both sides of the cotton substrate are covered with polyester foils, protecting the notes. At the same time, they have the same familiar feeling as banknotes made from cotton paper.

Incidentally, following its successes in 2015 and 2017, this is the third time that a product from G & D Currency Technology has received the prestigious "Regional Banknote of the Year Award."

Posted on 07.04.2018:

Yesterday, I have received a "Noah's Ark Collector's Banknote" from Jayant Biswas who was visiting us in Pune:

The Front Cover of the Collector's Banknote album is titled "Noah's Ark Collector Banknote. through a cut-out one can see a fragment of Noah's Ark against the background of Mount Ararat

The second page of the Banknote Album contains a description of the Noah's Ark and its historical importance to Armenia in Armenian language

The third page of the Collector Banknote album contains the Front (Obverse) of the Banknote and shows the reliquary with a fragment of Noah's Ark. In the background are a fragment of Mount Ararat and the Monastery of Etchmiadzin" woodcut (F. Parrot, "Journey to Ararat")

The fourth page of the Collector Banknote album contains the Bank (Reverse) of the Banknote and shows an image by the motifs of the "Leaving the Ark" woodcut by J. Carolsfeld. In the background is Mount Ararat

Page five of the Banknote album gives a description of Noah and his Ark:

"Noah's Ark is the symbol of humanity's salvation and rebirth.

According to the Bible, God instructed Noah to build an ark in order to save human life from the Flood. The ark where Noah took cover with his family, paired animals and birds landed on the Mount Ararat from where humanity and the animal world have resettled on the Earth.

For centuries, attempts were made to see Noah's Ark on the Mount Ararat. Jacob of Nisibis, a 4th century cleric canonized by Armenian Apostolic Holy Church, was the first person in the history noted for heading for the Mount Ararat with the purpose of discrediting his contemporaries' doubts. According to the church tradition, Saint Jacob received a fragment of Noah's Ark from the God's angel on a slope of the Mount Ararat.

At present, the fragment of Noah's Ark is kept in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. It is contained in the reliquary made by Armenian master from Qanaqer in 1698. The flaps of the reliquary have the images of Saint Jacob of Nisibis and the angel handing a fragment of the ark. Richly decorated, the reliquary is one of the best examples of Armenian silver smithery."

This page also shows an image of Noah and his family having reached Mount Ararat safely after the Flood in the Ark and several animals in pairs safe on the Mount.

The sixth & last page of the Banknote album is the Back Cover and gives a description of the security features of the Banknote along with its size

The security features include "RollingStar LEAD",  3D image of Noah's Ark, "Rolling Star GALAXY', windowed security thread with colour shifting effect from gold to green, bright "swimming 3D circles and interchangeable section - an image of Noah's Ark and a de-metallised patterns of "500" &  "AMD".

The specification of this Banknote are:

Size: 140 x 76 mm; Nominal value: 500 Dram; Year of issue: 2017; Designer: Suren Simonyan; Printing Company: Giesecke & Devrient GmbH; Brochure designer: Aram Urutyan