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Sunday, 30 April 2017

492) Alpine Gentian: “Flora Alpina” Series: The second coin in the Series issued by the Federal Mint Swissmint in January 2017 features the popular Gentian flower:



492) Alpine Gentian: “Flora Alpina” Series: The second coin in the Series issued by the Federal Mint Swissmint in January 2017 features the popular Gentian flower:


Every year, the Federal Mint Swissmint issues a small number of commemorative coins featuring some carefully selected themes/subjects. The coins minted in bimetal, silver and gold qualities bear an official nominal value, but are offered as Collector’s pieces.


This 2017 Switzerland 10 Franc Bimetallic coin, is the second coin in the “Flora Alpina” three Coin Series, issued on 26.01.2017 and features the “Alpen Gentian”, which is an  Alpine Flower of Switzerland.

 The other two themes included in this 3 coin Alpine Flower Series are Edelweiss and Silver Thistle. The first coin depicting the “Edelweiss was issued in 2016, while the third and last coin in the Series featuring the “Alpen-rose” will be issued in 2018.

About the Gentian flower:

Each year, the unique Alpine Flora attracts countless visitors to the mountains. The mountain spring is particularly impressive. While the snow fields gradually melt away, everywhere plants are blossoming and sprouting. Particularly eye-catching in this display of colours is the deep blue of the Gentian.

Together with the Edelweiss and Alpine Rose, it is one of the most popular Alpine flowers.

Gentian is a plant species from the Gentian family (Gentianaceae). The 300 to 400 plant species which are found almost all over the world are predominantly indigenous to the temperate climate zones of the Northern hemisphere and also in the Andes.

Gentian is commonly understood to mean the “stemless Gentian” of which there are several sub-species. The most well known are the frequently occurring species “Clusius’ Gentian” (Gentana clusii or limestone Gentian) and the stemless or “Koch’s Gentian (Gentiana acaulis or Silicaceous Gentian). Somewhat less well known is the “Gentian alpina” occurring more rarely and mainly in Valais and southern Switzerland. In contrast to the “Clusius’ Gentian” which grows in limestone rich soil, the “Koch’s Gentian” and the “Gentian alpina” need soil with silicate.

The two most widespread short-stemmed bell-shaped Gentians - Clusius’ Gentian” and “Koch’s Gentian” are very similar and because of this get muddled up with each other by mountain goers. Nevertheless, there is a striking distinctive feature on the corolla of the “Koch’s Gentian”, there are five regularly spaced green stripes which are absent in the “Clusius’ Gentian”. Also, the blue in the latter is thereby much more vivid.

The root of the Gentian flower is an ingredient in many beverages and is a common flavouring for bitters.

The Commemorative Coin featuring the “Alpen Gentian” (or the “Gentian Flower”):

               The Reverse of the bimetallic 10 Franc Coin
The Reverse of the bimetallic 10 Franc Coin features three Gentian flowers arranged at different angles with the strike crossing both the copper-nickel centre disc and the Aluminium bronze outer ring of the bimetallic coin.

Along the lower periphery of the coin on the outer ring is mentioned “FLORA ALPINA” (the name of the three coin Series which translates into “Alpine Flower”). Towards the right periphery is the inscription “LEIBUNDGUT” (standing for the name of the Coin’s Engraver: Jenny Leibundgut).
            The Obverse of the bimetallic 10 Franc Coin

The Obverse of the bimetallic 10 Franc Coin features a clean face, dominated by inscriptions “CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA” (meaning “Confederation Helvetica” or “Helvetic Confederation” which is Switzerland’s official name) which is displayed across two lines of curved text, with “CONFOEDERATIO” appearing on the centre to upper periphery of the outer ring and “HELVETICA” appearing on the upper edge of the centre-piece. Just below the “H” of Helvetica are the iconic Swiss Cross and the denominational value of the coin in numerals “10”, below which is the mint mark of the Bern Mint “B”. On the outer ring is mentioned “FR” which references the coin’s Franc denomination. To its right towards the right periphery is the year of issue “2017”.

The specifications of this coin are:

Country of issue: Switzerland; Year: 2017; Denominational value: 10 Franken (or 10 Franc); Mint Mark: “B” (Bern); Coin Quality: Uncirculated and Proof;  Mintage: 29,000 (Uncirculated pieces) and 5,500 Proof pieces); Metallic Composition/Alloy: Bi-metallic: Outer Ring: Aluminium Bronze: 92% Copper, 6% Aluminium, 2% Nickel; Centre piece: Copper-Nickel: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel; Weight: 15.0 grams; Diameter/Size: 33.0 mm; Thickness: 2.5 mm; Shape: Round; Edge: Milled; Orientation: Medal Alignment. Issuing Mint: Federal Mint Swissmint. Coin’s Engraver: Jenny Leibundgut.

491) Alpine Edelweiss: “Flora Alpina” Series: The first coin in the Series issued by the Federal Mint Swissmint in January 2016, features the iconic Edelweiss, the National Flower of Switzerland:


491) Alpine Edelweiss: “Flora Alpina” Series: The first coin in the Series issued by the Federal Mint Swissmint in January 2016, features the iconic Edelweiss, the National Flower of Switzerland:


Every year, the Federal Mint Swissmint issues a small number of commemorative coins featuring some carefully selected themes/subjects. The coins minted in bimetal, silver and gold qualities bear an official nominal value, but are offered as Collector’s pieces. 

  This 2016 Switzerland 10 Franc Bimetallic coin, is the first coin in the “Flora Alpina” three Coin Series, issued on 20.01.2016 and features the “Alpen Edelweiss” or “Alpine Edelweiss” (Leontopodium alpinum), which is the National Flower of Switzerland.


About the Edelweiss flower:

 The word “Edel” stands for “noble” (in English), while “Weiss” means “white” (in English). The other two themes included in this 3 coin Alpine Flower Series are gentian and silver thistle.

The Edelweiss commonly grows in the Alpine regions of Switzerland in rocky limestone surfaces at altitudes of 5,900 to 9,800 feet. The nontoxic plant is used in regional folk medicine as a remedy against several health related issues including respiratory and abdominal maladies.

The Edelweiss, the Alpine symbol par excellence, has achieved cult status. The plant’s white flowers have long symbolised desire, honesty, courage, purity and beauty.

Due to excessive picking, however, the flower was almost completely wiped out to the point that presently it is found mostly in areas which are difficult to access. It is believed that finding an Edelweiss in the wild is a rare stroke of luck. It is more commonly seen in tourism advertisements and on fashion items or souvenirs.

The star shaped part with fuzzy white petals (bracts) which is generally considered to be the flower is in actual fact not the flower, but a pseudanthium (A pseudanthium stands for “false flower” in Greek, or the flower head is a special type of inflorescence, in which anything from a small cluster to hundreds or sometimes thousands of flowers are grouped together to form a single flower like structure). The actual inflorescence in the Edelweiss in the centre is rather inconspicuous and consists of 2 to 12 similar cup shaped flower heads with 60 to 80 pale yellow florets each. This hardy and herbaceous plant can grow to between 5 and 20 cm in height.

The leaves and blooms on the plant are covered in white hairs, giving a woolly appearance. Each bloom, in turn, consists of five or six small yellow spiked florets. These yellow clusters are surrounded by white petals that spread out from the central bloom in a double-star formation.

The Edelweiss is a protected species in Switzerland and is a cultural symbol of the Alpine Region and of the people who live in it. It has been widely referenced in Alpine culture and finds a mention in several books, articles, movies and television programmes that take place in the Alps.

The Edelweiss Flower became a worldwide recognised bloom when it got a mention in a song which appeared in the 1965 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The Sound of Music”, the story line, set in the Swiss alps, features a young woman Maria (played by Julie Andrews) who becomes a governess for a widower Captain Von Trapp (played by Christopher Plummer) and his seven children during the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in 1938.

The Commemorative Coin featuring the “Alpen Edelweiss” (or the “Edelweiss Flower”):

         The Reverse of the  Swiss 10 Franc bimetallic Coin
The Reverse of the bimetallic 10 Franc Coin features two Edelweiss blooms. A flower on the left side of the coin highlights the appearance of the flower as seen from its side, while a second bloom is seen more prominently to its right and shows the full face of the flower. The petals of both the flowers which originate from the stalks that figure centrally in the coin’s cupronickel core, spill over into the outer Aluminium Bronze ring of the bimetallic coin.

Along the lower periphery of the coin on the outer ring is mentioned “FLORA ALPINA” (the name of the three coin Series which translates into “Alpine Flower”). Towards the right periphery is the inscription “LEIBUNDGUT” (standing for the name of the Coin’s Engraver: Jenny Leibundgut).


         The Obverse of the  Swiss 10 Franc bimetallic Coin
The Obverse of the bimetallic 10 Franc Coin features a clean face, dominated by inscriptions “CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA” (meaning “Confederation Helvetica” or “Helvetic Confederation” which is Switzerland’s official name) which is displayed across two lines of curved text, with “CONFOEDERATIO” appearing on the centre to upper periphery of the outer ring and “HELVETICA” appearing on the upper edge of the centre-piece. Just below the “H” of Helvetica are the iconic Swiss Cross and the denominational value of the coin in numerals “10”, below which is the mint mark of the Bern Mint “B”. On the outer ring is mentioned “FR” which references the coin’s Franc denomination. To its right towards the right periphery is the year of issue “2016”.

The specifications of this coin are:

Country of issue: Switzerland; Year: 2016; Denominational value: 10 Franken (or 10 Franc); Mint Mark: “B” (Bern); Coin Quality: Uncirculated and Proof;  Mintage: 30,000 (Uncirculated pieces) and 6,000 Proof pieces); Metallic Composition/Alloy: Bi-metallic: Outer Ring: Aluminium Bronze: 92% Copper, 6% Aluminium, 2% Nickel; Centre piece: Copper-Nickel: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel; Weight: 15.0 grams; Diameter/Size: 33.0 mm; Thickness: 2.5 mm; Shape: Round; Edge: Milled; Orientation: Medal Alignment. Issuing Mint: Federal Mint Swissmint. Coin’s Engraver: Jenny Leibundgut.






Links to posts on the "Flora Alpina" Series:

1) Alpine Edelweiss: "Flora Alpina" Series: The first coin in the Series issued in January 2016

2) Alpine Gentian: "Flora Alpine" Series: The Second Coin in the Series issued in January 2017 

Other posts on Swiss Banknotes:

1) A 10 Franc Banknote honouring Charles Edourd Jaenneret popularly known as Le Corbusier who designed the Modern Indian city of Chandigarh

Saturday, 29 April 2017

490) Graf Zeppelin: A 20 Dollars Silver coin and a 5 Dollars Gold Coin issued by Cook Islands in April 2017 to commemorate the 100th Death Anniversary of Count Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August von Zeppelin (08.07.1838-08.03.1917):



490) Graf Zeppelin: A 20 Dollars Silver coin and a 5 Dollars Gold Coin issued by Cook Islands in April 2017 to commemorate the 100th Death Anniversary of Count Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August von Zeppelin (08.07.1838-08.03.1917):   


These Silver and Gold Commemorative Coins, designed by Coin Invest Trust for the Cook Islands, mark the 100th Anniversary of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin’s death and also depict/reference two of the most spectacular Graf Zeppelin flights.

Count Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August von Zeppelin (08.07.1838-08.03.1917)

Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin was a German Military General and later a dirigible pioneer who founded the Zeppelin Airship Company.

He pioneered airship construction and flight in the late 18th Century. Despite many setbacks, Count Zeppelin persevered with and continued to develop airship flight until he passed away in 1917.

He was born in Constance in 1838.

He had a distinguished military career, during which he  served as adjutant of the King of Wurttemberg (1865), later as general staff officer during which he participated in the Austro-Prussian War (1866) and was awarded the “Ritterkreuz” (Knight’s Cross) of the Order of Distinguished Service of Wurttemberg, participated in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) during which while conducting a reconnaissance mission behind enemy lines, he narrowly avoided capture and successfully made it back to the German/Prussian line, which made him a hero among the German forces.

From 1882 to 1885, he commanded the 19th Uhians, in Ulm and was appointed as an envoy of Wurttemberg in Berlin. In 1890, he returned to army service as commander of a Prussian cavalry brigade.

He retired from military service in 1891 at the age of 52 with the rank of “Generallieutnant”.

His enduring fascination for aeronautics/dirigibles/airships:

During the US Civil War (1861-1865), in 1863, he took leave from the Prussian Engineering Corps where he was serving as a Lieutenant, to act as an observer for the Union Army of the Potomac in Virginia. It was here that, he first witnessed the use of hot-air balloons, some of which he even flew himself.

 The exhilarating experience inspired him to develop a “dirigible” (an airship – capable of being steered, guided or directed) to which he applied himself wholeheartedly after the end of his illustrious military career.

What are Airships?

An airship or dirigible balloon (as they were originally called) is a type of aerostat or lighter–than–air aircraft that can navigate through the air under its own power. The credit for inventing the first dirigible balloon/machine goes to Henri Giffard, a Frenchman, who called his craft “ballon dirigeable” (derived from the French word “diriger” for “steerable”).

Airships are classified according to their method of construction – rigid, semi–rigid and non–rigid. A few airships were metal clad.

The envelope itself is the structure, including textiles that contain the buoyant gas.

Aerostats gain lift from large gas bags filled with a lifting gas that is less dense than the surrounding air.

In the early dirigibles, the lifting gas used was Hydrogen, due to its high lifting capacity and ready availability.

 Most airships built since the 1960s use Helium, though some even use hot air.

The term Zeppelin is a genericised trademark which originally referred to airships made by the German Zeppelin Company, which built and operated the first rigid airships in the early 20th Century. The initials LZ stand for “Luftschiff Zeppelin” (German for “Zeppelin airship”) usually prefixed the craft’s serial identifiers.

The early failed Zeppelin experiments and the later success:

On 02.07.1900, Zeppelin made the first flight with the LZ 1 over Lake Constance, near Friedrichshafen, in Southern Germany. The airship rose from the ground and remained in the air for about 20 minutes but was damaged on landing. Later modifications and test flights also did not inspire much confidence.

 Project LZ 2 which began in 1905 also met with no success.

 In May 1906, LZ 3 had several modifications made and made two successful flights at a speed of 30 miles per hour (48 km/h) but was severely damaged when it grazed trees during heavy winds and an uneasy landing.

His initial attempts which could not succeed and the failures of the Zeppelin airships to be perfected, ruined him financially. Eyewitnesses and people in the know termed him as “the fool from Lake Constance”.

The turning point came only with the crash of LZ 4 which was destroyed by a fire at Echterdingen after breaking free from its moorings during a storm in 1908.

The crash of LZ 4 inspired a historic fundraising campaign by the German people, who had faith in Zeppelin’s capabilities and which let him continue his Zeppelin airships programme, which ultimately led Germany to be identified with the Zeppelin airships. The campaign raised over 6 million German marks, which helped create the “Luftschiffbau-Zeppelin GmbH” and the “Zeppelin Foundation” (“Zeppelin Stiftung”).

Within a few years, the Zeppelin revolution had begun which created a new age of air transportation.

Zeppelins were used for several purposes, apart from their military deployment – they were used for passenger transportation, even for long distance flights between Europe and the Americas.

Until 1914, the German Aviation Association (“Deutsche Luftschiffahrtsgesellschaft” or DELAG) transported around 37,620 persons on over 1,600 flights without an incident.

After, Count Zeppelin passed away in 1917, his legacy lead to the construction of the LZ 127 “Graf Zeppelin” airship, which was built in his honour and was put into operation in 1928.

A British rock group Led Zeppelin derived its name from his airship.

The "Hindenburg Disaster" (LZ 129 Hindenburg) which occurred on 06.05.1937, while on a trip from Frankfurt am Main, Germany to Naval Air Station Lakehurst Manchester township, New Jersey, USA, in which the airship caught fire at the Naval Air Station Lakehurst Manchester township, New Jersey, USA, during landing and out of a complement of 61 crew and 36 passengers, there were 36 fatalities (13 passengers, 22 air crew-men and one ground crew-man) shattered public confidence in the giant passenger carrying rigid airship and marked an end to the airship era.

About the Graf Zeppelin (LZ 127):

The Graf Zeppelin was not only the largest airship at the time of its completion, but also started the first commercial flight service between Europe and the Americas. A Round-the-World Flight (1929) and the Polar Flight (1931) were two of the Graf Zeppelin’s most spectacular flights among its 590 flights covering over 1.7 million kilometres.

The Commemorative Coins:



                      The Obverse of the 20 Dollars Silver Coin
The Obverse of the  20 Dollars Silver Coin depicts on the upper periphery, an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Ian Rank–Broadley which also carries the inscription “ELIZABETH II 20 DOLLARS COOK ISLANDS 2017” around the effigy.

The Silver editions also features the Graf Zeppelin’s Polar flight, which shows the iconic Zeppelin in an Arctic landscape, with a polar bear, icebergs and snow covered mountains.

In addition, each of the 499 limited edition silver pieces includes a piece of fabric which comes from the original “Graf Zeppelin” (LZ 127) which was scrapped in March 1940. This exclusive piece of fabric is placed on the centre right periphery, along with a fabric fragment that covered the LZ 127 prior to its being scrapped in March 1940 by the German military.



This image shows the High Relief of the Obverse of the coin construction/structure.



A specimen of a portion of the covering fabric removed from the Graf Zeppelin in October 1928, after its first transatlantic flight from Germany to NAS Lakehurst, New Jersey. The covering fabric was constantly inspected and reinforced/replaced after each flight for wear and tear.



                The Reverse of the 20 Dollars Silver Coin
The Reverse of the 20 Dollars Silver Coin depicts a portrait of the Count on the right side of this face and mentions his name “GRAF FERDINAND VON ZEPPELIN” AND HIS LIFE YEARS “1838-1917”. On the upper left to top periphery is mentioned “100th ANNIVERSARY”.

A Zeppelin is shown flying over a cityscape in the silver pieces.



This image shows the High Relief of the Reverse of the coin construction/structure.

The specifications of the Silver Coin are:

Issuing Country: Cook Islands; Year of issue: 2017; Face value/Denomination of the coin: 20.0 Dollars; Metallic Composition: Silver .999; Weight: 0.5 grams (or 3.0 Oz); Diameter/Size: 50.0 mm; Coin Quality: Proof; Mintage: 499 pieces.

The silver coin comes in a see-through display case and features an impressively high Relief thanks to the smartminting technology.

 These coins have been minted by B.H.Mayer’s Kunstprageanstalt GmbH.



                        The Obverse of the 5 Dollars Gold Coin
The Obverse of the 5 Dollars Gold Coin depicts an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Ian Rank–Broadley (his initials appear below the Queen’s neck) which also carries the inscription “ELIZABETH II 20 DOLLARS COOK ISLANDS” around it. On the bottom is the denomination of the coin “5 DOLLARS”.



                          The Reverse of the 5 Dollars Gold Coin
The Reverse of the 5 Dollars Gold Coin depicts a portrait of the Count on the right side of this face and mentions his name “GRAF FERDINAND VON ZEPPELIN” AND HIS LIFE YEARS “1838-1917”. On the upper left to top periphery is mentioned “100th ANNIVERSARY”.

The specifications of the Gold Coin are:

Issuing Country: Cook Islands; Year of issue: 2017; Face value/Denomination of the coin: 5.0 Dollars; Metallic Composition: Gold .9999; Weight: 0.5 grams (or 3.0 Oz); Diameter/Size: 11.0 mm; Coin Quality: Proof; Mintage: 15,000 pieces.

The gold coin comes in a see-through display case and features an impressively high Relief thanks to the smartminting technology.

 These coins have been minted by B.H.Mayer’s Kunstprageanstalt GmbH.







Links to Posts on Australia, New Zealand and countries and Overseas Territories of the South Pacific on this blog:

1) Bank of Papua New Guinea: 36th Anniversary Celebrations (1973-2008): A Commemorative Uncirulated Coin Set consisting of a 2 Kina Banknote & a 2 Kina Coin

2) Papua New Guinea: An uncirculated coin set brought out in 1995 commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Independence 

 3) Currency & Coinage of the Soloman Islands: Dollars and Cents

4) New Zealand: New Banknote "Seventh Series" issued under Project "Brighter Money" from 2015 onwards

5) Coinage of the French Polynesian Island of Caledonia (or Nouvelle Caledonie) the CFP Franc  

6) French Institution for issuing uniform currency/coinage for French Overseas Territories in the Pacific and the French Southern Territories of Antarctica: The Institut d'emmission d'outre Mer (IEOM)

7) Currency & Coinage of Samoa: Tala and Sene 

8) Currency of the South Pacific Island Country of Fiji 

9) Coinage of New Zealand: A commemorative coin set issued in 1979 

10) Currency and Coinage of Australia: Dollars and Cents 

11) The Australian Emblem or the Coat of Arms 

12) The story of the Australian Penny 

13) The Legend of the Mutiny on the Bounty: A Commemorative Coin Set from the Pitcairn Islands depicting relics from the Bounty issued in 2009 

14) An Australian $5 coin issued in 1996, commemorating Australia's greatest cricketing legend - Sir Donald Bradman 

15) New Series/Generation of Australian Banknotes being introduced from 01.09.2016 onwards starting from $5 issues 

16) Southern Lights: A $1 Silver holographic coin issued by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in January 2017

Links to interesting posts on coins from Tuvalu Islands

1)Famous Pirates of the Caribbean :2) Edward Teach or "BlackBeard"

2)Famous Pirates of the Caribbean: 3)Bartholomew Roberts or Black Bart Roberts 
  
 3)Famous Pirates of the Caribbean:4)Jack Rackham 

4)Famous-pirates-of- the Caribbean : 5) Henry Avery 

5)Famous Pirates of the Caribbean : 6) Sir Henry Morgan

6)Norse Goddess Freya - a Silver 2 Dollars High Relief antiquated Coin , the first in the Series titled "Norse Goddesses" (2017) 

Other interesting links to posts from Cook Islands minted by Coin Invest Trust:

1) Brexit : Britain's exit from the EEC : Coins issued by the Cook islands in the denomination of $1, $5 and $ 20 in 2016 

2) 150th Anniversary of "The Great Tea Race - 1866": Commemorative Coins in the denomination of 10 and 2 Dollars issued by Cook Islands in 2016

3) The Mystical Ancient Egyptian Labyrinth depicted on $10 Silver coins issued by Cook islands in 2016, under its "Milestones of Mankind Series".

4) King Arthur: The first coin in the six coins "Camelot Series".

5) Quilling Art: Silver 2 Dollars coins issued - Flowers (2016) & Bird (2017)

6) Graf Zeppelin: A 20 Dollars  Silver Coin and 5 Dollars Gold Coin issued to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the passing away of Count Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August Von Zeppelin in 1917

Links to posts on issues from the Republic of Palau:
5) Republic of Palau issues "Sand Dollars": Silver & Gold 1$ coins