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The Coin of the Month

March 2011 - 500 Francs Europalia ’93 - Belgium

The coin of 500 Francs 1993 was minted to celebrate the famous international arts festival that is celebrated every two years in Belgium.
This festival was established in 1969, and Italy was the first country to be associated.
From the beginning, Europalia was designed to be a multidisciplinary cultural festival.
1993 was the year of Mexico. The festival presented 14 expositions, 76 concerts ... and brought more than a million of visitors. The main exhibition was the “eagle and the sun”, which is a 3.000 years of Mexican art’s recovery. The Maya’s civilization was also one of the most important parts during the festival. Others exhibitions were devoted to personalities, country, other civilizations...

About the coin,

500 Francs 1993 – ref. #IBEL-994

On the observe, we can read “EUROPALIA 93”. The word EUROPALIA is a combination of two words: Europe and Opalia in honor of Ops. In ancient Roman religion, Ops or Opis, (Latin: "Plenty") was a fertility deity and earth-goddess of Sabine origin.

Peter Paul Rubens: Ops with two children

There is also the nominal value (500 Fb = 12.48 EUR), and Belgium in the three national languages (BELGIE – BELGIQUE – BELGIEN).
At the top, there is the crown to represent the Belgian royalty. In 1993, the 5th king of Belgium, Baudouin Ist, died, and his brother, Albert II, took place on the throne. That’s why there is not any mark of king, but just a crown.
On the reverse, we can see one of the most beautiful engravings ever made for the Belgian numismatic. It represents the Mexico Exposition designs, made of Maya’s representations.

The coin is designed by the famous Belgian engraver Paul Huybrechts. He engraved lots of commemorative Belgian coins.

Made in silver 0.925, this coin has a diameter of 37 mm, for a weight of 22.85g. The coin was minted at 61.000 coins, 52.000 were sold in a sealed plastic sleeve, and 9.000 were sold in a box, and minted in quality proof (with the initial qp).

They also made stamps and medal to celebrate the festival. Here are two examples :




Autor: Pierre Bertrand
March / 2011



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