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Snake Entwines Opal on Coin
By World Coin News
June 19, 2013

This article was originally printed in World Coin News.
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HelveticMint has issued on behalf of Fiji what it calls the world’s first high relief coin with embeddd Gilson opal. The 1-ounce silver coin commemorates the 2013 Year of the Snake.

The design consists of a representation of a snake entwined on a Gilson opal gemstone, surrounded by a line. The opal includes the inscription “Year of the Snake” along with the Pinyin pictograph pronounced “shé” and meaning “snake” in artificial black onyx.

Gilson opals can express every color in the visible spectrum, according to the firm. In the Middle Ages, opal was considered a stone that could provide great luck because it was believed to possess all the virtues of each gemstone whose color was represented in the color spectrum of the opal. It was also said to confer the power of invisibility if wrapped in a fresh bay leaf and held in the hand.

This coin is the world’s first with an embedded carved plate made of two different gemstones surrounded by high relief snakes and a mirror surface, according to HelveticMint.

Made of .999 silver, the $10 coin measures 38.61 mm in diameter and has a mintage of just 1,000 pieces.

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