Mendeleev’s Periodic Table is 150 years old and commemorated on a new Tuvalu silver coin


The Period Table of the Elements is an unusual subject for a commemorative coin, and one with great merit. A core part of the teaching and practice of chemistry, physics and countless other disciplines, the Periodic Table is a tabular display of known elements arranged by atomic number, electron configuration, and recurring chemical properties. First published by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869, it’s been gradually added to over the ensuing decades as more elements have been discovered or created.

The release is typical Perth Mint fare. A one-ounce silver coin with colour on the reverse face and the effigy of QEII on the obverse (the new Jody Clark variant). The phrase ‘One hundred and Fifty Years’ is spelled out using coloured chemical symbols from the table, although with a little artistic licence, and there’s a struck image of Mendeleev at the top done in a style almost reminiscent of Da Vinci’s sketchbook.

Packaging is a little bland, just a grey coin box in a themed shipper and with a certificate of authenticity, but does the job. One of the latex floating frames would have been a more appropriate choice, perhaps. Available now, it has a mintage of 3,000 pieces. An eclectic issue, the mint is to be applauded for the choice of subject.

COMPOSITION 0.9999 silver 31.1 grams
FINISH Proof with colour
BOX / COA Yes / Yes