Marie Curie is the 2019 issue in France’s ongoing series celebrating the great women in their history
Women of France is the spiritual successor to the classic Monnaie de Paris series, From Clovis to Republic. A favourite here that you’ve no doubt heard us big up on numerous occasions, Clovis introduced the ‘Historical Strike’. This is basically a standard strike, but with the edge of it unbound so that the metal can flow out from under the die unevenly. It’s relatively subtle, but looks great.
Launched in 2016, the Paris-based mint debuted three coins that year and did the same in 2017 and 2018. So far we’ve seen Clotilde, Mathilde, Jeanne d’Arc, Catherine de Medici, Madame de Pompadour, Olympe de Gouges, Desiree Clary, Josephine de Beauharnais, and George Sand. Strangely, 2019 will see this Marie Curie coin only, with 2020 bringing Sister Emmanuelle and Simone Veil. As the coins have worked their way through history in rough chronological order, and Simone Veil only died in 2017, we’d feel safe saying that 2020 will be the series end.
Fortunately, the Marie Curie coin is another fine release. The portrait side has a high quality image of the ground-breaking scientist at its centre, and the obverse features a dual effigy of Marie and her scientist husband and collaborator, Pierre. The series signature visual element has always been the lightly struck background pattern/image and that’s also the case here. The reverse face has a background of hand-written equations, while the obverse has a representation of the molecular structure of the element she discovered, Polonium.
We found the earlier Clovis coins to be more attractive than the later ones because the subjects, mainly from the Medieval period, were just more interesting than the later 20th century politicians. Woman of France has managed a more varied selection of figures to showcase and later coins have had their own great appeal. The usual two formats are present. The more popular of the two is a €55.00, 0.900 silver coin of 22.2 grams in weight and with a mintage of 2,000 (down from the previous 5,000). The €485.00 gold tips the scales at 7.78 grams (¼ oz) with a mintage half last years 1,000 pieces – so just 500. In addition, Marie Curie has been chosen for the one-ounce gold treatment and just 250 of these €2100.00 coins will be offered for sale. All formats come boxed with a c.o.a. and are available now. A really beautiful series that come alive in the hand.
Marie Skłodowska Curie (7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934) was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences. She was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris.
She was born in Warsaw, in what was then the Kingdom of Poland, part of the Russian Empire. She studied at Warsaw’s clandestine Flying University and began her practical scientific training in Warsaw. In 1891, aged 24, she followed her older sister Bronisława to study in Paris, where she earned her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work. She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and physicist Henri Becquerel. She won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Her achievements included the development of the theory of radioactivity (a term that she coined), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium (named after her native country) and radium. Under her direction, the world’s first studies into the treatment of neoplasms were conducted using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I she developed mobile radiography units to provide X-ray services to field hospitals.
Marie Curie died in 1934, aged 66, at a sanatorium in Sancellemoz (Haute-Savoie), France, of aplastic anemia from exposure to radiation in the course of her scientific research and in the course of her radiological work at field hospitals during World War I.
This series’ coins highlight the women who marked France’s History. Through their portrait and the significant events of their life, Monnaie de Paris’ engravers have transcribed those famous women’s personality. Some textures treated as all-over textile patterns appear in the background of the coins.
REVERSE: This represents the portrait of Marie Curie surrounded by her double surname and dates of birth and passing away. In the background, the texture is a reproduction of the scientific manuscripts of her works. It includes formulas related to the research that led her to be presented to the Nobel Prize.
OBVERSE: represents in the center, the couple formed by Marie Curie and her husband Pierre. They are surrounded by the evocation of the Nobel Prizes she has received; one with her husband in 1903, the second, on her own, in 1911. The background is made of a representation of the molecular structure of polonium, discovery that led her to be presented to the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911.
|DENOMINATION||€10 Euro||€50 Euro||€200 Euro|
|COMPOSITION||0.900 silver||0.999 gold||0.999 gold|
|WEIGHT||22.20 grams||7.78 grams||31.104 grams|
|DIMENSIONS||37.00 mm||22.00 mm||37.00 mm|
|MODIFICATIONS||Unbound edge||Unbound edge||Unbound edge|
|BOX / COA||Yes / Yes||Yes / Yes||Yes / Yes|
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