On behalf of the Minister for Finance, the Central Bank of Ireland has issued (10th July) €15 silver Proof coins to mark the centenary anniversary of transatlantic aviation. It was on the 15th June 1919 that John Alcock and Arthur Brown landed their Vickers Vimy airplane in a bog near Clifden County, Galway. However, the idea of crossing the Atlantic Ocean employing flight was launched in 1913 when the Daily Mail had offered a prize of £10,000. Today, that sizable reward would amount to about one million euros (U.S. $1,130,000) to be given to the first aviator able to cross the Atlantic. Due to the breakout of war on the European continent in 1914, the competition was suspended, but was re-launched in late 1918. The two British aviation pilots made their way to St. John’s in Newfoundland, present-day Canada, and flew their two-man Vickers Vimy biplane across the Atlantic Ocean successfully, landing on the west coast of Ireland with neither man sustaining any injuries. On that day, they had achieved the first non-stop transatlantic fight with a duration of 16 hours and 28 minutes, landing about 25 miles north of their targeted destination.
The coins are produced by the Royal Dutch Mint at their facilities in Utrecht, on behalf of the Central Bank, and are designed by PJ Lynch. The obverse side depicts the model of airplane which was flown across the Atlantic Ocean, while a clear outline of the island of Ireland is shown below. The commemorative inscription reads 100 YEARS OF TRANSATLANTIC AVIATION and is placed above the primary design along the edge. The coin’s denomination of 15 EURO is shown just above the airplane and is centred.
The reverse side of the coin includes the national emblem of Ireland, the harp, with the text EIRE and the year of issue 2019 placed on either side.
|15 euro||.925 Silver||28.2 g||38.6 mm||Proof||3,000|
The coins are encapsulated and presented in a custom case branded with the logo of the Central Bank of Ireland and are accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity. For more information about this coin and others available from the Central Bank, please visit their website.
I was awaiting your elaborate article on issue of this coin since you usually attend the ceremonies organized by the central bank.
To be honest, I was patiently waiting for the release of this coin however the coin design perhaps doesn’t do justice to the massive achievement of Alock & Brown. How do you feel about the overall design ?
M Alexander says
Yes, as you know, I usually do include more detailed coverage on the issue of Irish collector coins from the Central Bank but, this time, there wasn’t a special launch – so, no extra coverage, but thank you for noticing 🙂
I had also hoped there would be a more detailed depiction of the event, I was also commenting to my Editor that I was surprised there wasn’t a joint-issue project with the Royal Canadian Mint since the take-off point was in Newfoundland.
What still marvels me is just 50 years later, a man was landed on the Moon and safely brought back – there cannot be enough praise and appreciation of this accomplishment by the United States and the NASA programme. I continue to be sadly disappointed by the lack of acknowledgement of this achievement to the US by the many Mints & Banks who have issued coins to mark this 50th anniversary.
Perhaps we’re now in an era where achievements like this – the centenary anniversary of the first-ever successful trans-atlantic crossing by plane AND the 50th anniversary of the Lunar landing are being taken for granted – not realising how much imagination, force & drive and funding to attain success such as these really goes into these events.
PS AS I understand, the coin IS selling well so, put your order in sooner rather than later 🙂