The Monnaie de Paris have launched the latest gold coin in a series which pays tribute to some of the world’s most well-known or internationally recognized sites or landmarks built or inhabited by various peoples all around the world as chosen by UNESCO. The UNESCO World Heritage Site project includes places such as forests, mountains, monuments and various buildings or even an entire city that is of special cultural or physical significance. The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
This year’s coin features the temples of Abu Simbel, located in the Nubian region of southern Egypt and situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser. Since 2007, the initial launch of the series, the Monnaie de Paris has traveled from one continent to another, highlighting monuments and natural sites. After featuring the Great Wall of China, the Grand Canyon, the Moscow – Kremlin, the Taj Mahal, and the Palace of Versailles, the Monnaie de Paris now pays tribute to one of the most beautiful places in Egypt, that of the temples Abu Simbel. Consisting of two temples built during the reign of Ramses II, the Great Temple is dedicated to the worship of Amon, Ra and Ptah. The Smaller Temple is dedicated to the worship of Nefertari, wife of Ramses II and on the coin is depicted as Hathor. From 1960, this architectural gem was threatened by the rising waters resulting from the construction of the Aswan Dam. The site was saved by UNESCO, who initiated the monuments being dismantled and rebuilt on higher ground away from the rising waters.
The obverse of the coin includes a depiction of the two colossal statues of the Pharaoh Ramses II which are part of the primary entrance of the temple. Towards the left half of the coin, is a close-up of the bas-relief of the god Ra. In the lower center are the letters “RF”. The reverse design includes a stylized aerial view of the unique shape of the UNESCO headquarters in Paris France along with the insignia of the World heritage programme and the coin’s face value of €50, this reverse design has been used on previous coins in the series.
Struck in proof quality in .920 fine gold, the coin weighs 8.45 grams and has a diameter of 22 mm. A mintage has been authorized at 1550 pieces.
For more information on this and other coins offered by the Monnaie de Paris, please visit their website at: http://www.monnaiedeparis.fr/G-ographie/UNESCO-2012-Le-temple-d-Abou-Simbel-pc6GBdvKztCI0AAAEvTD4l6HPCGnusE6zm3lAAAAE5NocOOPd0.html International orders fulfilled – the information on the MdR website is currently in French.