By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for Coinweek …….
The German Mint has released the innovative five-euro “Planet Earth” coin just in time for Earth Day on April 22, when the world focuses on global conservation efforts. The German five-euro coin is innovative because it features three components: a copper-nickel center; a copper-nickel outer ring; and a blue polymer ring between them.
The obverse of the inner copper-nickel segment includes a Euro-centric map of the Earth in a dot-matrix finish; the outer copper-nickel component features an artistic depiction of space dotted with stars, planets and other space motifs. The inner blue polymer ring symbolizes Earth’s atmosphere.
The letters KM (designer Stefan Klein’s initials) are seen near the center right of the space design toward the rim.
The reverse of the 2016 German five-euro Planet Earth coin features a stylized heraldic eagle – Germany’s national symbol. The outer metallic ring features the 12 stars of the European Union. The inscriptions 5 EURO and 2016 D BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND dominate the right two-thirds of the design by artist Alina Hoyer.
The coin measures 27.25 millimeters in diameter, weighs nine grams and features edge lettering. The edge inscription reads BLAUER PLANET ERDE – BLAUER PLANET ERDE. Translated into English, this means “BLUE PLANET EARTH – BLUE PLANET EARTH”.
One interesting property of the coin’s blue polymer ring is its translucency, allowing light to radiate through the coin and mimicking the iridescent qualities of the Earth’s real atmosphere when observed from the ground and from space. The polymer ring, along with many of the coin’s other unusual design and composition features, will help deter counterfeiters.
Peter Huber, director of the State Mints of Baden-Württemberg, says that the coin is an “innovation of an era.” While the unique five-euro issue is intended mainly for coin collectors, Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Söder suggests the same type of security features may soon be employed with other German coins.
“When this is done in large quantities a huge amount of money can be made,” he said.
The new coin will be produced in uncirculated and proof-like finishes at all five German mints, including facilities in Berlin (represented by an “A” mintmark), Munich (“D”), Stuttgart (“F”), Karlsruhe (“G”), and Hamburg (“J”). The German Ministry of Finance says a total of two million of these coins will be minted, with collector versions of the five-euro Planet Earth coin available for €15.55 ($17.56 USD) each or as part of five-coin sets for €77.75 ($87.80 USD).