Commemorative coins often celebrate moments of national pride or
individual achievement, but a 2015 noncirculating legal tender coin
from Armenia serves as a somber reminder of tragedy.
The Uncirculated Antique Finish .925 fine silver 100-dram coin marks
the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide, which began in 1915 as the
mostly Islamic Turks sought to eradicate a minority Armenian Christian
population residing in what is now modern-day Turkey.
In a few years, the population of some 2 million people was reduced
by 50 to 75 percent, with many of the living left homeless and destitute.
The relationship between the two populations remains strained in the
modern era, with Turkey refusing to accept the term “genocide” for the
systematic killing of its Armenian population.
Multiple memorials to the genocide are found around the world.
Both sides of the coin bring elements of some of those memorials
together, including a stone cross at a memorial in Glendale, Calif.,
depicted on the obverse.
In addition to the U.S. memorial, the coin depicts memorials in
Armenia, and Belgium, Brazil, France, Russia, and Syria, reflecting
the widespread Armenian diaspora.
The coin was designed by Suren Simonyan and Aram Urutyan, and struck
at the Lithuanian Mint.
The coin weighs 67.2 grams, measures 50 millimeters in diameter and
has a mintage limit of 1,000 pieces.
Collectors interested in obtaining this coin will have to search the
secondary market, as most of Armenia’s coins have no robust
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