Northern Sky - Ursa Major
Author: My Collectables Date Posted:20 June 2016
Following the sell-out release of the domed coin paying tribute to the Greek mythological story of Cassiopeia, the Northern Sky series continues with this tribute to one of the world’s most famous constellations.
With the same combination of colour printing, fine silver and the innovative dome shape, it will capture the imagination of coin collectors and astronomy buffs in the same way that the constellation has won the hearts of stargazers for centuries.
PRODUCT RELEASE 4 JULY 2016.
HISTORY AND SIGNIFICANCE
Those who gaze at the stars in the northern celestial hemisphere are treated year-round to the sight of one of the world’s most famous constellations. Ursa Major (Latin for ‘the larger/greater she-bear’) has been a key feature of astronomy, navigation and folklore since its declaration by Ptolemy in the Second Century AD.
The constellation (whose seven most prominent stars are commonly known as the ‘Big Dipper’) has captured the imagination of many around the world, as evidenced through its many myths. The Micmac and Iroquois tribes of North America share tales of seven hunters whose pursuit of the bear caused her to spray her blood to turn the autumn leaves red. Romans believed that the maiden Callisto was transformed into a bear by the goddess Juno, jealous of the attention that her husband Jupiter gave the maiden. Greeks believed that Hera and Zeus were the feuding couple surrounding Callisto’s transformation.
FEATURES AND DESIGN
• The second coin in a three-coin series, following the sell-out success of the Cassiopeia coin
• Finished to the Royal Australian Mint’s proof standard
• One ounce of fine silver
• Featuring the celebrated dome shape of the prior coin (and the fondly-remembered Southern Sky series)
• Coin’s reverse features a beautiful colour-printed depiction of the Ursa Major constellation
• Issued in an attractive presentation case with outer box
• Numbered Certificate of Authenticity
• Coin’s obverse features Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II effigy sculpted by Ian Rank-Broadley
• Australian legal tender