A new coin from Fiji features an explosive topic of American origin.
The Proof .999 fine silver $10 coin with an antique finish
memorializes the May 18, 1980, explosion of Mount St. Helens in
southern Washington. Mount St. Helens is part of the Cascade Mountain
Range and, after two months of earthquakes and steam-venting, the
mountain exploded in a pyroclastic display on May 18.
The tragedy killed 57 people, wiped out thousands of acres of
land, sent debris to 11 states and caused more than $1.1 billion in
damages (not adjusted for inflation). Further, significant eruptions
continued during 1980, with other episodes of periodic eruptive
activity continuing until recent years.
The coin is part of the “Breath of Fire” series, the first issue
from a program planned to include 10 coins. The second issue honors
Kronotsky in Russia, but the subjects of the remainder of the issues
in the series are unknown.
The Mount St. Helens coin features a locket containing 0.5 grams
of golden obsidian, a volcanic glass, to represent the explosion
(origins of the obsidian were not disclosed at press time). The
reverse shows the mountain as it appears after the explosion, which
removed much of the north face of the mountain.
The obverse carries the new Fiji coat of arms, which replaced
Queen Elizabeth II beginning early this year.
The coin weighs 20 grams, measures 40 millimeters in diameter and
has a mintage limit of 999 pieces.
The designer of the coin has not been disclosed publicly. European
distributor Gavia is issuing the coin in the name of Fiji.
Each coin is individually numbered on its edge and each comes with
a certificate of authenticity.
American Precious Metals Exchange offers the coins for $119.99 if
payment is made via cash or check, or for $123.59 with credit card
payment. Shipping and handling are additional.
To order, contact APMEX toll-free at 800-375-9006 or visit its
website, www.apmex.com. ■