Karakorum 800th Anniversary
Mongolia. 5,000 Togrog. 2020. Silver .999. 2 oz. 50 mm. Special Technology: smartminting© with tiffany glass inlay. Proof.
Mintage: 800. B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt, Munich.
Description of the Coin
One side features the reconstruction of a building of the city of KARAKORUM from the front; red tiffany glass inlay in the central gate. Above 800, below CITY OF / KARAKORUM / 1220 2020.
The other side depicts a crowded square with a silver tree at the center; streams of liquids flow out of its mouths; at the center a red tiffany glass inlay. In the right field the coat of arms of the Bank of Mongolia, below in Cyrillic script 5,000 Togrog, in the exergue in Latin script MONGOLIA 2 oz .999 SILVER.
There are few things that interested Western merchants as much as the Mongol Empire, which stretched as far as China in the 13th century. The Pax Mongolica ensured safe-conduct to all long-distance merchants. It was the prerequisite for profitable trade in precious silk and exclusive spices.
That’s why reports on this fairy-tale empire were read with great attention in the trading metropolises of Europe. Back then, it was not Marco Polo but a Franciscan monk called William of Rubruck who was considered the reliable source for true information. He was the first European to describe the capital of the Mongol Empire: Karakorum.
One detail of his report fascinated his readers in particular: William of Rubruck describes a very special fountain located at the central square of Karakorum. For Möngke Khan, the Paris goldsmith Guillaume Bouchier had designed a fruit-bearing tree made of silver and crowned by an angel with a trumpet. It was a mechanical masterpiece: golden tubes with mouths in the shape of snakeheads were wrapped around the trunk. When the mechanism was set in motion, the angel announced with its trumpet that beverages were to gush out of the tubes.
CIT depicts this silver tree on its commemorative coin Karakorum 800th Anniversary. Both sides of the issue are based on a Western illustration of the account of William of Rubruck’s journey. It’s one of a very few depictions of the mysterious city of Karakorum and has already been used several times as a motif on Mongolian banknotes.
With the detailed issue created with smartminting technology displaying a red tiffany glass inlay, the coin commemorates the fact that Genghis Khan founded Karakorum in 1220, which means that the city celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2020. The technical specifications of the commemorative coin – 2 oz of silver and a diameter of 50 mm – correspond to those of the successful Tiffany series, of which the last issue was released in spring 2020.
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