When the London Olympic Games are over, the Royal Mint won’t be the
only issuer of coins to celebrate the handover of the Summer Games to
Rio de Janeiro for 2016.
Brazil’s central bank on Aug. 1 announced that it would release
circulating commemorative 1-real coins as well as noncirculating legal
tender silver 5-real coins “to honor the delivery of the Olympic Flag
to Brazil,” in a venture involving three entities, the Rio 2016
Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee, the nation’s
central bank and the Casa da Moeda (Brazilian Mint).
The circulating 1-real coin is a ringed-bimetallic coin, with a
stainless steel center and a bronze-plated steel ring.
An Olympic flag with the five Olympic rings stands as the central
device, with BRASIL in the field above and the logo of the Rio 2016
Games appearing in the field below the flag. Legends found on the
outer ring of the coin translate to “delivery of the Olympic flag,”
and “London 2012 • Rio 2016.”
The reverse is the standard design for the denomination, showing
native marajoara art in the outer ring and, in the center, the
Southern Cross constellation (from the nation’s flag), and the
denomination and year of issue.
A total of 2,016,000 1-real coins will be produced, with an
unspecified number to be issued in special packages for collectors and
the rest put into circulation through the banking system.
The 1-real coin weighs 7 grams and measures 27 millimeters in diameter.
A total of 5,000 of the silver 5-real collector coins (finish
unspecified) will be issued, according to the bank announcement.
The central obverse elements on the 5-real coin are the same as on
the 1-real coins, though the higher denomination lacks the legend
references to London and Rio. The reverse shows stylized images of two
icons, the Tower Bridge of London and the “Cristo Redentor” (Christ
the Redeemer) statue representing the city of Rio de Janeiro. The
denomination and legends referencing the two cities appear on the reverse.
No specification details were available at this time for the
silver coin, and a release date was not announced.
Brazil coins have no known U.S. distributors, and the United
States Olympic Committee has jurisdiction over sales of Olympic-themed
coins in the United States, so collectors will have to wait for a
distributor to be named or seek these coins on the secondary market. ■