Landlocked Rwanda issues coin with Columbus’ Santa Maria

Flagship of journey of American discovery on inaugural silver bullion coin for intended series
By , Coin World
Published : 10/25/17
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Christopher Columbus never sailed anywhere near Rwanda, but that isn’t stopping the landlocked country in East Africa from noticing the intrepid explorer.

An unidentified private German company has struck 2017 Nautical Ounce 1-ounce silver bullion coins depicting the famous flagship of Columbus’ journey of American discovery, the Santa Maria.

The Brilliant Uncirculated .999 fine silver 50-franc coin celebrates the 525th anniversary of the expedition.

It is the first coin in what is to be the “Nautical Ounce” series, from distributor American Precious Metals Exchange.


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The obverse features the Santa Maria under sail, a stylized compass in the background. The inscription NAUTICAL OUNCE, 2017, and the purity are arrayed along the rim, along with nautical instruments. The legend SANTA MARIA appears in the water below the ship.

The reverse displays the official seal of Rwanda and face value of 50 francs.

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Each silver coin in this series is to be struck only within a limited minting period, according to the distributor.

The minting period for the Santa Maria coin began in August and continues through March 2018, at which time final mintage numbers will be confirmed, the distributor states.

Each coin is individually packaged in plastic, and linked in 10-coin sheets.

The coin measures 40 millimeters in diameter.

A Proof version with a mintage limit of 1,000 pieces is sold out, according to the distributor.

A Proof 1-ounce gold coin with a mintage of 100 pieces is also sold out.

Distributor APMEX offers the 1-ounce silver bullion coin for around 75 percent above precious metal price, depending on quantity purchased and payment method.

To order the coin, visit the distributor website.

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