An interesting recent release from the Central Bank of the Russian Federation celebrates the 450th anniversary of the birth of Galileo Galilei. Both a regular edition and special edition with portions of the design executed with different techniques are available.
Galileo (1564-1642) was an Italian physicist, mathematician, engineer, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the scientific revolution. His observations laid the foundation for modern physics and astronomy. He defended heliocentrism even when he was accused of heresy and his books were banned, leading to his eventual house arrest.
The obverse design of the coin features the emblem of the Bank of Russia, the two-headed eagle. The inscriptions include “БАНК РОССИИ” (BANK OF RUSSIA), “ДВАДЦАТЬ ПЯТЬ РУБЛЕЙ” (TWENTY FIVE ROUBLES), and the year of issue 2014. The precious metal purity of 92.5% silver is indicated along with the fine metal content of 155.5 g.
The reverse design carries a depiction of Galileo Galilei with a telescope in his hand. The Leaning Tower of Pisa appears to the left, with a celestial globe and picture of the moon to the right. The background is completed with the heliocentric depiction of the universe and a fragment of an engraving from Galileo’s writing Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. The inscriptions include “ГАЛИЛЕО ГАЛИЛЕЙ” (GALILEO GALILEI) with his birth and death dates 1564 and 1642.
The reverse design of the special edition of the coin features some aspects of the design executed in different techniques. The lower background features colored enamel. The heliocentric depiction of the universe features gilding on the sun and the planets made of artificial stones.
The coins are struck in 92.5% silver with a fine metal content of 155.5 grams and diameter of 60.0 mm. The mintage of the regular edition is 850 pieces with a mintage of 150 pieces for the special edition.
Information about the coin on the Central Bank of Russia’s website can be found here.