Iconic Scientist Marie Curie Honoured on French Coins

18 May 2019  Sat

France recently released special coins to honour the great French physicist and chemist, Marie Curie. The coins belong to a 2016 series which celebrates the most iconic women in the history of France who contributed greatly in various fields such as culture, art, science, politics etc.

The obverse side depicts a portrait of Marie Curie, her double surname, birth and death dates, symbols that represent her scientific work and formulae that earned her the Nobel Prize. The reverse side shows Marie and Pierre Curie, Nobel Prizes she received; one with her husband in 1903, and one by herself in 1911. The molecular structure of polonium is also shown in the background. The element was discovered by Marie Curie, for which she won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911. Other inscriptions include Year of Issue 2019, mintmark of Monnaie de Paris mintmark - a cornucopia, mark of mint master Yves Sampo – a pentagon with letters AG, MP, and YS.

The 31.104 grams 200 Euro .999 Gold coin has a mintage limit of 250 pieces and a diameter of 37 millimetres. The 7.78 grams 50 Euro .999 Gold coin has a mintage limit of 500 pieces and a diameter of 22 millimetres. The 22.2 grams 10 Euro .900 Silver coin has a mintage limit of 2,000 pieces and a diameter of 37 millimetres. All the coins have been struck in Proof Quality with a smooth edge. The same historical strike used in the “From Clovis to the Republic” series is applied to produce all coins in this series as well. The hammer effect has been replaced by textile patterns to give an antique look.

Marie Curie’s real name is Maria Salomea Sk?odowska and she was born in present-day Poland on 7th November 1867. She is the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize, and also the only woman to receive it twice. She is the only scientist to receive the award in two different fields: physics and chemistry. Marie Curie and her husband, Pierre Curie got the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 for their research in radiation while Marie Curie won the award again in Chemistry in 1911 for her work on polonium and radium.

Coins featuring Queen Clotilde, Queen Mathilda, Joan of Arc, Catherine de Médicis, Marquise de Pompadour, Olympe de Gouges, Josephine de Beauharnais, Desiree Clary and George Sand have already been released as a part of this series over the last 3-4 years.

Image Courtesy: Monnaie de Paris

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