Friday, July 10, 2009

Special "Masterpieces of Art" Silver Coin Issued To Honor Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa

As part of the spectacular "Masterpieces of Art" silver coin series - which sees beautifully detailed designs struck against state-of-the-art colour pad printing techniques and embedded crystals - a special release has been issued in 2009 to celebrate what is arguable the most famous painting on Earth, The Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci.

Cook Islands 2009 $20 Da Vinci Mona Lisa 3oz Coloured Silver Proof

The Mona Lisa (also known as La Gioconda), is an oil painting created by Leonardo da Vinci during the Italian Renaissance period of the 16th century. da Vinci started the painting in 1503 and finally completed it shortly before he died in 1519. The portrait painting is of Lisa Gherardini (Lisa del Giocondo), the wife of wealthy Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo. The painting had been a commissioned work to put in the del Giocondo's new home to celebrate the birth of their second son, Andrea.

The identity of the subject was not discovered until 2005, over 500 years after the painting was started, when a library expert at the University of Heidelberg found a margin note by Agostino Vespucci in a book housed there. Agostino Vespucci was the secretary to Niccolo Machiavelli, the author of the classic political treatise “The Prince” who befriended da Vinci in 1502 while both da Vinci and Machiavelli spent several months at the home of Cesare Borgia.

The painting is owned by the France Government and is housed in the Louvre gallery in Paris.

The Mona Lisa silver coin has been issued as a special release, although still part of the "Masterpieces of Art" series. The series has so far seen coins dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper", Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" and Rembrandt's "Night Watch". Each of the "Masterpieces of Art" series of silver coins contains a stunning reproduction of a famous work of art pad printed on the coin in glorious full-colour. The coin then has a number of genuine Swarovski crystals embedded into the coin itself.

Although technically the fourth in the series, the Mona Lisa coin is regarded as a special edition independent to the general releases of the series. The reason it has been released as a special edition issue is due to it's famous subject matter as well as the enhancements it has over other coins in the series. Unlike previous coins in the series the Mona Lisa edition has a special 1/4 ounce insert of 99.9% pure gold, which has the famous painting printed onto it. Around where the insert is housed on the coin is an elegant frame of 26 Swarovski crystals. Struck into the coin itself is an intricately detailed imagining of Renaissance architecture, such as what was in place at the time the Mona Lisa painting was created. On the obverse of the coin is the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, together with the 20 Dollar face value and issuing country, Cook Islands.

The coin is struck from 93.30 grams (3 ounces) of 99.9% silver on an impressive 55.00mm flan, which perfectly accommodates this stunning imagery. The coin is encapsulated and presented in an stylish, official presentation case with Certificate of Authenticity which confirms the extremely small mintage of just 999 coins issued worldwide. Located on the back of the pure gold insert, as well as on the coin where the insert is laid, is the individual numbering, unique for each coin issued.

Euro Collections International currently has a small quantity of the Cook Islands 2009 $20 Da Vinci Mona Lisa 3oz Coloured Silver Proof available to order through our website.

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