The Fabrica Nacional Moneda y Timbre FNMT / Real Casa de la Moneda RCM have unveiled their latest silver collector coin, which marks the Tercentenary (300th anniversary) of the Real Compañía de Guardias Marinas (Royal Company of Midshipmen), founded in 1717. The academy was first established in the city of Cadiz by José Patiño y Rosales (1666–1736), Spain’s secretary of state during the reign of King Felipe V, from 1700 to 1746. Initially, the academy was intended to offer scientific/practical instruction to future naval officers, combining an eminently practical British style of training to midshipmen as well as the solidly theoretical type of education of the French Gardes de la Marin.
In November 1769, the Academy of Marine Guards moved to the town of San Fernando on the Isle of León and by 1776, new academies or annexes were opened in the cities of Ferrol and Cartagena. However, by 1824 the running costs of these additional locations were deemed too expensive, and were closed with the only two teaching locations being at San Fernando and Cadiz. Although the academy was very much an institution of the nobility, it also opened exceptional doors for experienced sailors who were not of noble blood, and its requirement that a candidate be a member of the aristocracy was removed in 1824.
When the academy was fully converted into a naval college, it faced closure in 1868 because the excessive number of marine guards who applied for a place of learning meant there would be difficulties for the treasury. Thus, it was decided that in order to cut costs, the Naval College established the Fleet School in 1869 by utilising the frigate Asturias, which was moored in Ferrol. The new Squadron Law of 1908 required that the naval school relocate back to San Fernando, where it would be re-established in the old building of the Naval College, which was inaugurated once again in 1913. Despite their new permanent home in San Fernando, the government decided to find another permanent home for the Naval College in 1938, and the move to Marín was proposed to take place by 1943. The move was decided mainly due to the excellent conditions for teaching navigational skills, since the location offered a natural estuary, and this location has been the home of the Naval College since. The Naval Academy has the distinction of having been where HM King Felipe VI and his father, King Juan Carlos, received their own military training.
The reverse reproduces the façade of the main entrance to the school, known as the Puerta de Carlos V (Charles V Gate). The anniversary years 1717 and 2017 are placed in two lines just to the upper left of the primary design. The coin’s denomination, 10 EURO, is positioned above the gate with the commemorative text REAL COMPAÑIA DE GUARDIAS MARINAS placed just below the gate.
The obverse includes the effigy of HM the King Felipe VI, introduced on Spanish coinage in 2014 after his accession to the Spanish throne the year before. The colour emblem of the Escuela Naval Militar (Military School of Navy Officers), successor of the Real Compañía, is placed just to the left of the portrait.
|€10||.925 silver||27 g||40 mm||Proof||7,500|
The €10 coin has the same specifications as the traditional 8-reales piece and will be issued on the 27th March. The coin is encapsulated and presented in a branded FNMT/RCM custom case with certificate of authenticity. Please visit the website of the Real Casa de la Moneda for additional information on this and other coins offered by the mint. ❑