Central Bank of Malta issues polychromatic coins depicting an illuminated letter

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The Central Bank of Malta has issued numismatic coins in gold and silver depicting an illuminated letter from the L’Isle Adam Graduals. The coins form part of the Europa Programme with the theme ‘Gothic’ and bear the Europa Star logo.

The gold coin has a face value of €50 and the silver coin has a face value of €10. The €10 coins, which will be limited to 2,500 pieces, will be struck in 0.925 silver. Each coin has a weight of 28.28g and a diameter of 38.61mm. The €50 coins will be limited to just 400 pieces, each struck in 0.916 gold, weighing 6.5g and having a diameter of 21mm. Both the silver and the gold coins are finished to proof quality. The gold coin will be sold for €350, while the silver coin will be sold for €65.

The coins were designed and minted by the Royal Dutch Mint. The obverse of the coin features the coat of arms of Malta and the Europa Star logo. The reverse of the coins depicts an illuminated letter O found in the L’Isle Adam Graduals, which are housed in the museum of St John’s Co-Cathedral. Colour printing techniques have been used on the coins to reproduce the chromatic and aesthetic qualities of the original artwork.

The Central Bank of Malta gratefully acknowledges the consent given by St John’s Co-Cathedral Foundation to reproduce this artwork on the coins.

The L’Isle Adam Graduals, which date to around 1533, are considered to be Malta’s finest illuminated manuscripts. They consist of a set of ten choir books commissioned from a French scriptorium by Grand Master Philippe Villiers de L’Isle Adam. These graduals were produced quite some time after the advent of printing, epitomised by the Gutenberg Bible of 1455. This reflects the complexity of printing music scores, which ensured that the production of manuscript choir books – largely using medieval techniques – survived into the 16th century.

This year’s coins conclude the five-year series dedicated to different periods of European art forms and history which have been broadly grouped as: Modern 20th century (2016), The Age of iron and glass (2017), Baroque and Rococo (2018), Renaissance (2019) and Gothic (2020). The term ‘Gothic’ was first used by Giorgio Vasari and is today generally used to encompass Western art between 1300 and the early 16th century.

We are pleased to announce that, following the advice of the health authorities, the Malta Coin Centre counter at the main premises will re-open for the public on Monday 11 May 2020 and it will be open on weekdays from 08:30am to 12:30pm. It has been temporarily moved to the entrance foyer and all the necessary health precautions have been put in place to ensure the safety of our staff and of our patrons. Please note that patrons must abide by the Bank’s procedures – put in place in line with health authority guidelines – and that they will need to identify themselves before services can be accessed. Kindly note that purchases can still be made via the online e-shop facility.

For more information, contact the MCC by e-mail on mcc@centralbankmalta.org or by calling (+356) 2550 6006/7.