The Treasury of Palau has released new silver coins whose focus is perhaps one of the best known early motion pictures which featured the possibility of space travel — at a time when even air flight had not yet been invented. Produced 120 years ago by the Star Film Company in 1902 with a budget of 10,000 French francs (the equivalent of $2,000), Le Voyage dans la Lune or A Trip to the Moon was the work of French director Georges Méliès. The film with a storyline of space travel is often described as the first-ever motion picture with a science fiction theme. Said to have been inspired by the works of Jules Verne and his 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon and also its 1870 sequel Around the Moon, Méliès’ film chronicles the adventures of a group of astronomers who travel to the Moon in a cannon-propelled capsule and explore the Moon’s surface. In one of the film’s more memorable scenes, the rocket is launched and lands right in the middle of the right eye of the man on the Moon, shown as a grimacing face. In fact, the moment in which the capsule lands in the Moon’s eye remains one of the most iconic and frequently referenced images in the history of cinema. Ultimately the space travellers encounter Selenites, or lunar inhabitants, whom they escape from and return to Earth with a captive Selenite. During the production of the film with a running time of about 14 minutes, Méliès who himself portrayed the astronomer and main character, Professor Barbenfouillis, also edited the film. He cleverly used special editing effects and other techniques that were revolutionary at the time, such as showing a character vanishing in a puff of smoke or superimposing an actor’s face onto the moon’s surface.
The coins are commissioned by Power Coin international distributors out of Ciampino, Italy, and their production is the work of the B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt at their facilities in Munich. The obverse side faithfully replicates the well-known image of Professor Barbenfouillis’s rocket the moment it lands in the eye of the man on the moon. The high-relief enhances both the moon’s surface as well as the colourised rocket itself which cleverly includes the logo of Power Coin seen on the back end of the rocket with the year 2022 shown in stylised numerals on the left, and also below the rocket. The reverse side includes an artistic rendition of the crest of the Island of Palau centred with the denomination of 10 $ placed below the shield and the text REPUBLIC OF PALAU shown along the upper edge. There are three stars placed on either side of the text.
|$10||.999 Silver||62.2 g||50 mm||Oxidised Proof||500|
Each coin is encapsulated and presented in a custom black-framed case with a transparent lid for ease of display and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For additional information, please click here.
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