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Vasco da Gama is the third and last sailor whom the gold coin of the Czech Mint from the collector's miniseries entitled "On Waves" pays tribute to.
Europe has always been hungry for the wealth of distant lands, but trade in exotic goods from Asia, especially spices, was completely dominated by Arab and Ottoman rulers when Constantinople fell in 1453. Since then, Europeans have been looking for a way to bypass their Muslim enemies…When Christopher Columbus returned from his triumphant trip to the West in 1493, everyone believed that he had found a new path from Spain to India (no one knew at the time that he had actually discovered a completely new continent - America). The Portuguese king did not intend to wait until he had nothing left, and ordered a cruise to India around Africa. Vasco da Gama became the commander of the expedition. An ambitious Portuguese nobleman set out from Lisbon, being the first European to circumnavigate the Cape of Good Hope and explore waters of the Indian Ocean. When he sailed to India, he found out that his poor homeland had nothing to offer to Asian traders. The servants did not even dare to show their master the gifts he wanted to give the Indian ruler - they were pathetic to the local conditions. The disappointed captain returned home and became a hero in Portugal – next expeditions were conquering and laid the foundations of a vast colonial empire…
The reverse side of the coin is dominated by a portrait of a sailor supplemented with the captain's name and life dates. "The portraits depicting Vasco da Gama are mostly from a three-quarter perspective, and I kept this position when designing the reverse side of the coin. The sailor's voyages, which led to India, symbolize a bird's eye view of three ships whose routes diagonally divide the surface of the coin. There is also the west coast of Africa with the indicated route of the voyage from Lisbon to the Cape of Good Hope, " the author of the relief and academic sculptor Michal Vitanovský says. Since the coins of the Czech Mint are provided with a license of the island of Niue, their obverse sides bear the necessary attributes of this issuer - the portrait and the name of Queen Elizabeth II, a nominal value of 10 DOLLARS (NZD) and the year of the issue 2020. The composition of the obverse side, which is common to all coins of the miniseries, is supplemented with the depiction of a sailboat as a symbol of overseas discoveries.
The coin is stored in an attractive packaging that contains original drawings by Michal Vitanovsky and stories about cruises to India.
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