France introduced a new series of coins last year named Aviation and its History. Two planes are featured on new collector coins every year based in a common theme. The common theme for this year is transport and the 2018 coins feature strong carriers with paratroopers and cargo drops. Romain Hugault created the aircraft drawings and box sleeves under the guidance of Joaquin Jimenez. Romain is a Comics author and also is a pilot himself.
The American aircraft manufacturer McDonell Douglas built the Dakota in 1936 for air transport. It was used a lot during the Invasion of Normandy in 1944 to drop American paratroopers on Sainte-Mère-Eglise. 10,000 such sturdy and reliable aircrafts were built. Apart from military services, it was also used for the Berlin airlift.
The Berlin Blockade happened from 24th June 1948 to 12th May 1949 when railway, road, and canal access to West Berlin were blocked by the Soviet Union. The Berlin airlift operation was planned by the Western Allies to carry supplies to the people of West Berlin. Aircrews from the United States Air Force and the British Royal Air Force flew more than 280,000 flights in a year, providing almost two million tons of goods to people from West Berlin.
2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the event. The obverse features the underside of a Dakota plane just before it is about to make its delivery. The Brandenburg Gate is featured in the background along with other flying planes. C47-1948, 2018, “70 ans du pont aerien”, and the famous Kennedy quote “Ich bin ein Berliner” are the other inscriptions.
The reverse features a common design depicting two pilots from different eras and types of use: civil and military. Aircrafts from different eras and uses are shown in the sky. Other inscriptions include the face value, the symbol “RF”, a cornucopia - the Monnaie de Paris mintmark, square-within-a-square symbol of mint designer Joaquin Jimenez, L’AVIATION & L’HISTOIRE and the mark of current Monnaie de Paris mint master Yves Sampo showing a pentagon containing the letters AG, MP and YS.
The Gold coins come in varying denominations like 500, 200, 50 Euro, while the Silver coins bear denominations of 50 and 10 Euro. Each version has a different mintage limit, composition, and weight.
Image courtesy: Monnaie de Paris