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It has been a real pleasure to see how much our unusual and extravagantly designed coins, such as the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing and the Centenary of the Salzburg Festival, have been appreciated by you.
The forthcoming series, The Uncharted Universe, takes this design element into account and goes a step further in the shape of three unique coins for you to collect, the likes of which have never previously existed.
We humans are fascinated by the vastness of the universe and the more we learn about it the more fascinated we become. With the help of these coins and what you will learn about the universe along the way, you will reach the final frontier, beyond which lie the unknown and the unexplored.
Together with experts, we take a close look at three physical-astronomical phenomena – the Milky Way, black holes and neutron stars. From something very small – a coin – you will become acquainted with the infinitely large and even reach out to galaxies that no human has ever seen before.
2021: The Milky Way
2022: The Black Hole
2023: The Neutron Star
Mintage in Proof quality: 30,000 pieces
A unique coin for a unique phenomenon. Concave on one side and convex on the other, The Black Hole illustrates the funnel shape of these regions of spacetime where gravity is so strong that nothing can escape from them. One way of envisaging a black hole is as a vortex that draws in everything in its immediate proximity. Once beyond the point of no return – known as the ‘event horizon’ – the ‘singularity’ awaits at the centre.
Although storing vast amounts of energy, black holes do not emit light. For this reason, the first photograph of a black hole was not published until 2019 and, even then, only as an indirect image of the shadow it casts. No wonder that so much remains unclear about black holes. Among the most complex objects possible in our or any other universe, they are not only a challenge experimentally but also raise a multitude of fundamental questions about space and time.
The black hole vortex phenomenon is illustrated on the coin’s reverse in the shape a funnel decorated with a colour-printed spiral. On the coin’s obverse, a cone rises from the flat silver surface, representing the curvature of space-time. ‘Cygnus X-1’, the name of the first black hole to be named as such, is written to the right under ‘15 M☉’, the solar mass of this black hole. In German, ‘Event horizon’ marks the boundary between the observable and the unobservable in space-time, while ‘Singularity’ points to the location of maximum space-time curvature.
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