Commemorative coins are to be minted and placed into circulation to mark the Asian Cup being held in the UAE.

The Central Bank of the UAE has minted 1,000 silver coins, which are worth 50 dirhams each, as part of the footballing festivities.

They have been handed to the football tournament’s organising committee, with the back depicting the Asian Cup logo.

A collection of one dirham coins have also been created, which will be placed into general circulation. One side depicts Mansour and Jarrah, the tournament’s official mascots.

The Asian Cup is currently being hosted in the UAE, with 24 teams aiming to be crowned champions of the continent.

The special one dirham coin

The host nation kicked off their bid for glory with a 1-1 draw with Middle East neighbours Bahrain on Saturday.

The tournament has already thrown up its fair share of surprises, with defending champions Australia losing their opening clash with Jordan and outsiders India thrashing Thailand 4-1.

The UAE are next in action on Thursday, when they take on the surprise package Indian side in Abu Dhabi.

Asian Cup passport stamps have also been rolled out to mark the tournament, which runs until February 1 and is being held across the Emirates.

Previously, the UAE has minted coins to mark special occasions such as the Chess Olympiad in Dubai in 1986 and the country’s qualification for the Italia’ 90 football World Cup.

Ceremonial first strikes of both versions of the Proof 2019-P Apollo 11 50th Anniversary silver dollar were executed Dec. 13 at the Philadelphia Mint.

More than a dozen dignitaries and invited guests were accorded the opportunity to strike examples of the standard silver dollar that were placed into envelopes after striking. Those who struck the coins will be able to purchase the examples they struck when sales for the commemorative coin program open at noon E.T. Jan. 24.

Among those in attendance were offspring of the three Apollo 11 astronauts — Buzz Aldrin’s son, Andy; Neil Armstrong’s son Mark; and Michael Collins’ daughter, Ann. The three joined U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder in also striking examples of the 3-inch 5-ounce silver dollars.

Both silver dollars are the first of their kind in the traditional U.S. commemorative coin program. The 5-ounce silver dollar is the first of that denomination and the 1.5-inch silver dollar is the first struck on a .999 fine silver planchet instead of a .900 fine silver planchet.

The 3-inch silver dollar is limited to a maximum release of 100,000 coins while the 1.5 inch coin is limited to a combined maximum mintage in Proof and Uncirculated versions of 400,000 coins.

Ryder said pricing has not been determined for the Proof 5-ounce silver dollar but expected it will likely be on the upside of $200.

The copper-nickel clad half dollar is limited to 750,000 Proof and Uncirculated coins combined and the gold $5 half eagle is limited to 50,000 coins.

All of the coins are being struck with a concave obverse and convex reverse. The obverse, designed by Maine artist Gary Cooper as winner of an open design competition, was sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph F. Menna. The reverse design, mandated under Public Law 114-282, was sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.

The obverse features as its central device a footprint on the lunar surface. The reverse features a representation of a close-up version of the famous Buzz Aldrin on the moon photograph taken July 20, 1969, that shows just the visor and part of the helmet of astronaut Aldrin. The reflection in Aldrin’s helmet includes Neil Armstrong, the United States flag and the lunar module.

Ron Harrigal, manager of the U.S. Mint’s design and engraving division, said die preparation proved a challenge to execute the curved features. The Mint started with the 3-inch coin first then adapted the findings to the smaller diameter coins.

Harrigal said each of the obverse and reverse dies were engraved individually on CNC cutting machinery and hand-finished, in essence making master dies into working dies, eliminating any hubbing.

Ryder predicted a program sellout, which if achieved, would generate surcharges of $14 million for the three designated beneficiaries — 50 percent to the Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Museum Destination Moon exhibit, 25 percent to the Astronauts Memorial Foundation, and 25 percent to the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

Coins found near Ribe in Jutland in August have proved to be part of a collection of 252 pieces of Viking silver.

The discovery of the first coins led to an archaeological investigation of the area, resulting in the coins now being in the hands of the Museum of Southwest Jutland, DR Syd reports.

The ninth-century coins are extremely rare, according to experts, with only 11 such coins previously found anywhere in the world.

“Coins of this type are ridiculously rare. The ones that have been found are very well-preserved. More than we normally see with this period,” Museum of Southwest Jutland curator Claus Feveile told Ritzau.

The August discovery was made by a man with a metal detector walking in a wetland area.

After the first 16-18 coins had been turned up, the man contacted Museum of Southwest Jutland, where experts could immediately see a special find had been made.

“That on its own was a treasure – it was more than the total number of coins we already knew of,” Feveile said.

“So we were aware that this was big. It has turned out to be even bigger,” he added.

The wet conditions in which the coins were buried helped to preserve the metal, enabling archaeologists to study markings and learn more about the Viking rulers of the time.

Feveile said that the coins were used for trade at Ribe’s market.

“Not that it should be imagined that everyone was walking around with coins like these in their pockets. If that was the case, we’d have found them in many other places too,” he said.

The coins will be displayed for a limited period at the Ribe’s Vikings Museum before being transferred to the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen.

Commemorative coin and banknote of Mongolia in celebration of the Year of the Pig

Commemorative coin and banknote of Mongolia in celebration of the Year of the Pig


Commemorative coin and banknote of Mongolia in celebration of the Year of the Pig

Commemorative coin and banknote of Mongolia in celebration of the Year of the Pig

The reverse shows a pig facing left placed within an elaborately designed edge. Similar elements can be found on the flank and cheek of the pig. The exergue features the year of issue 2019.

It is a tradition that in celebration of the Chinese New Year, people all over world exchange gifts. Gifts of money are still the most frequently chosen presents in China. Traditionally, they are put in red envelopes, and an old Chinese joke says that at the end of the day you have received just as much money as you have given away.

The second most popular gift in China is the lucky symbol connected to the Chinese zodiac that initiates the new Lunar Year. Countless gifts shaped like or depicting a pig will once again be available to mark the Year of the Pig.

With its range of products, CIT Coin Invest AG combines all of these characteristics in honor of the new year: Money shaped like or depicting a pig in the appropriate red packaging. Collectors should get their hands on this coin before all numismatic rarities have been given away as gifts at the turn of the Chinese New Year.

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A trio of treasure hunters armed with a metal detector discovered a trove of silver Roman coins dating back nearly 2,000 years in northern England — and the find may be evidence of a large Roman outpost waiting to be unearthed.

The 18 coins, which appear to date to the 1st century reign of the emperor Vespasian, were found in 2015, but the thrilling discovery was kept under wraps so archaeologists could investigate the area, according to The Telegraph newspaper.

In the years since, workers at the Yorkshire site have uncovered several more silver coins, along with hundreds of pottery fragments, multiple child burial sites and a small brooch — and experts think they’re just scratching the surface, the report said.

“There are decorated bowls and amphorae [ancient jars], which would have transported olive oil and wine from the Mediterranean. Lots of really fine pottery,” the excavation’s head, Chris Casswell, told The Telegraph. “We have discovered evidence for … a high-status site.”

The dig has also yielded foundation trenches, post-holes and even the time-worn remnants of stone walls, indicating a more permanent settlement.

Though ample evidence of Roman settlement in England has been found dating to later in the empire’s span, “It is rare to find one of such an early date,” Casswell added.

What has become an archaeologist’s dream excavation started humbly — with three history buff pals scanning the field with a metal detector, according to The Telegraph.

“Straight away we knew it was a hoard,” recalled Paul King of the moment he, Robert Hamer, and Robin Siddle discovered the coins.

The trio reported the find to museum experts, who praised them for acting in the best interest of history, the paper said.

Officials will determine who gets to keep the artifacts.

Even if he doesn’t end up with the coins, King says the thrill is all in the hunt and connecting with the past today.

“You just want to know about things. How did people live? What did they do?” he told The Telegraph. “When you pick up that Roman coin out of the ground, after it’s been there for 2,000 years, it still puts tingles up my spine that the last person to touch that coin was a Roman.”

Among the millions who participated in World War I, a few names live in history. The Red Baron is one. Lawrence of Arabia is another.

Britain’s Royal Mint’s latest coin sets commemorating people and events from WWI include gold and silver £5 coins honoring “Colonel” Thomas Edward Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia.

The common reverse design of both proofs by David Cornell shows Lawrence in his Arabian headdress. In the foreground are camels and riders representing the Arab revolt of 1916-1918 in which Lawrence played a significant part.

The silver coin comes struck on a 38.61 mm, 28.28 g .925 fine silver flan. The gold is on a 38.61 mm, 39.94 g .9167 fine flan. Both are edge-lettered: I WROTE MY WILL ACROSS THE SKY IN STARS, a quote from The Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

Previously, Lawrence has featured on several coin series featuring wartime heroes such as struck by British Virgin Islands and Tristan da Cunha.

And his time as a mainspring in the Arab revolt contributed to the many Ottoman and other coins that were counterstamped “al-Hejaz” and “Nejd” as the Arab forces came to occupy former Ottoman territories in the Hejaz.

Many myths surround Lawrence, a couple of which are perpetuated in the Royal Mint’s media release announcing the new coins. A somewhat more accurate précis is provided for those who get their history from Hollywood movie scripts.

At the outbreak of WWI, Lawrence was working as an archaeologist in the Middle East. He was fluent in Arabic and had many contacts among the Bedouin tribes, whom he admired immensely. He eventually volunteered for the British Army stationed in Egypt but was rejected as physically unsuitable. The British found him a niche in intelligence where they could use his extensive knowledge of the Hejaz (Arabia) and its people.

In 1916, he was sent to the Hejaz. Here he encountered the three sons of Sharif Hussein, Emir of Mecca, and concluded that the youngest, Faisal, would be the ideal leader for an Arab revolt against their Ottoman overlords. For his part, Faisal was impressed by the young Britisher who openly espoused visions for an independent pan-Arab nation.

The revolt had started in mid-1916 but had become bogged down as it lacked clear goals. Lawrence worked with Faisal to reposition his forces and coordinate attacks. Essentially, Lawrence’s strategy was that of guerilla warfare. The results came fast and were impressive. Ottoman forces around Medina were rendered powerless to attack Faisal’s positions given that the Ottoman railway south from Syria was constantly under attack.

Lawrence was assigned permanently to Faisal’s staff, where he not only liaised with the British forces but also participated personally in numerous attacks throughout 1917 and 1918. The Arabs named him Emir Dinimi [King Dynamite].

A 300-mile journey in June 1917 to Damascus saw him return with considerable intelligence and the cooperation of the local Arab nationalists. The British were sufficiently impressed to consider awarding him a Victoria Cross but settled for making him a Companion of the Order of the Bath.

He planned and executed the successful capture of Aqaba on the Red Sea on July 6, 1917, via a surprise overland attack. This result saw Gen. Allenby assure Lawrence of his total confidence, and from then forward, a free hand. His part in the rout of the Ottomans at the battle of Tafileh in 1918 saw him awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

By the summer of 1918, the Ottomans had had enough of Lawrence. He and Faisal were tying down an inordinate number of their troops. They put a price on his head equivalent to $2 million today. No Arab betrayed him. For his part, Sharif Hussein treated Lawrence as one of his sons.

Although Lawrence was deeply involved in the buildup to the capture of Damascus, he was not present at the city’s formal surrender. He was beaten to the draw on Oct. 1, 1918, by the 10th Australian Light Horse Brigade.

Remarkably, throughout his war career, Lawrence was never formally commissioned. He carried various temporary ranks from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel. Post-war Gen. Allenby even agreed to him becoming an informal full colonel for a few days to ensure he got a sleeping berth on the train from Tarranto to Paris during a peace conference. Unlike his temporary ranks, that of colonel was never gazetted.

For Lawrence, the temporary ranks were meaningless. He declined to be credited with them. He was well known as the scruffiest man in the British Army.

He also declined any of his decorations and awards. He returned his French Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur and Croix de Guerre with Palm and politely told King George V that he could not accept any British awards.

He was dismayed by the British government’s reneging on a promise of Arab independence and explained to the king it was his intention to fight the British establishment “by fair means or foul.” In the circumstances, awards would be inappropriate. The king accepted these views.

“We shall never see his like again,” Winston Churchill said

Archaeology is like a treasure hunt where the prizes are pieces of information from the past, and Japanese archaeologists recently hit the jackpot. They discovered a jar filled with coins belonging to a medieval samurai. The ceramic jar was found in the Saitama Prefecture north of Tokyo and is one of the largest hauls of medieval coins discovered in the country.

The jar, which dates back to the first half of the 15th century, contains well over 100,000 bronze coins and measures nearly 24 inches in diameter. A wood tablet was discovered next to the stone lid, with the words “nihyaku rokuju” (260) written in ink. Archaeologists believe this could refer to 260 kan, or units of 1,000, placing the total at 260,000 coins in the jar.

The treasure was buried 6.5 feet (2 meters) below ground and was likely placed there to save the samurai’s riches, as it was a troubled period in Japan’s history. Over the course of the 15th century, civil war broke out as the Muromachi shogunate was under attack. This was a period where the Emperor was relatively weak, with military dictators known as shoguns leading the country.

The second half of the 15th century saw different families jockeying for position and power—leading to increased violence. Feudal lords, known as daimyō, challenged the shogun’s authority and it was in this era that ninjas were often hired and used as secret assassins. With that picture clear, it makes sense that a powerful samurai would want to keep his money hidden.

For now, 70 of the coins have been examined. These coins were looped on a string and include 19 different coins from China and different areas of Japan. It’s thought that all of the coins—which have holes in the center—would have been strung together on a rope before being added to the jar. Based on the coins looked at so far, researchers believe the jar would have been buried at some point after the second half of the 15th century.


Altogether 150 silver coins of the British era have been recovered while digging the earth of the courtyard of a house at Oreya village in Hazaribagh district, the police said.

An earthen pot, containing the coins, was buried in the courtyard, Sub-divisional officer (Hazaribagh Sadar) Aditya Ranjan said here yesterday.

One Tulsi Sao, who is staying on rent in the house, found the coins on July 25. On being informed, police seized the coins.

The State Archaeological Department has been informed about the recovery, the SDO said.

The Department has also been informed about the recovery of 41 coins of the Mughal period from the Pandeywara village of Keredari block two weeks ago, he said.

This made us wonder whether such autonomous underwater vessels could help more light on the ancient world, of more than 3,000 or even 30,000 years ago.

Deep sea divers and archaeologists have found literally hundreds of complex architectural structures in the world’s oceans, hundreds of feet below the surface of the water.

The discoveries suggest that a bygone civilization was washed away by something like Noah’s flood, a story which appears in many religions in one form or another, even in ancient Sumerian texts dating back approximately 5,000 years.

But given that sea levels would have been low enough to allow the building of those structures 15-30,000 years ago, they are yet another part of the mysterious puzzle ancient civilisations have left for us to figure out.

Researchers are busily trying to piece together the details of what actually happened and when, and there are many theories about such things, almost all of them at once more fascinating and more plausible than mainstream history tends to hold to be the official truth.

The gulf between the “mainstream” and what could be described as “alternative” research will probably be bridged eventually, but not without the re-writing of hundreds and hundreds of history and archaeology books, something which many people are loathed to do for many reasons, some of which are obvious, others inexplicable.

Underwater structures have been found off the coast of Japan and India which are thought to date back more than 12,000 years, which would make them the oldest complex, megalithic stone buildings ever discovered.

According to alternative researchers, these buildings show many signs of the use of advanced construction technology and techniques, the like of which would be difficult to replicate even today.

Many other similarly sophisticated structures have been found under the sea in other parts of the world, including 300 in the Mediterranean Sea, which straddles southern Europe and northern Africa.

Alternative historians, archaeologists and researchers suggest that, when these structures were originally built by people who we don’t seem to know, sea levels were around 150 meters lower than they are now.

Exploring them can be expensive, time-consuming and potentially dangerous. Which is why robots would be the perfect solution in this instance.

There are numerous companies developing and already offering underwater unmanned vessels which could be used for such underwater research work, and it’s probably only a matter of time before we hear of stories like the one that made the headlines recently.

An underwater robot is said to have discovered treasure worth up to a staggering $17 billion, according to CBS. In this instance, it was the discovery of a relatively recent Spanish shipwreck, dating back a mere 300 years.

The robot which discovered it is the Remus 6000, an autonomous underwater vehicle produced by Kongsberg, which has made other similar machines, and can dive up to depths of four miles.

The shipwreck was found in the Caribbean Sea, and photographs show “tell-tale signs” of cannons associated with Spanish vessel San José, according to a CBS report. (See video below.)

While other discoveries are almost certainly not going to yield treasures of such monetary value as this one, the discoveries that robots can potentially make at ancient underwater sites would be priceless.

This is not, of course, a new suggestion and marine archaeologists have been using underwater robots in their work for quite some time.

In fact, the underwater exploration sector, or market, has grown so fast in the past few years that was able to make a list of 24 underwater drones, many of which may be suitable for archaeology.

Some underwater drones which have been specifically designed for marine archaeology have been highlighted in an interesting article by Dive Magazine.

And the European Union has funded a special project to develop what’s called the “Archaeological RObot systems for the World’s Seas”, or the Arrows Project for short. (See picture below.)

As explained on the project’s website: “Arrows proposes to adapt and develop low cost autonomous underwater vehicle technologies to significantly reduce the cost of archaeological operations, covering the full extent of archaeological campaign.”

As well as the drone itself, Arrows provides custom-built interfaces and software systems specific to a particular expedition, although it’s not clear from the website whether or not the system is commercially available.

We will look into this subject further and perhaps produce a list of our own of underwater robots and highlight their applications at some time in the future.

Generally speaking, however, these things tend to become the domain of defense industry, which we don’t cover as much.

A group of locals, engaged in reconstruction of an old temple, found a copper pot full of antique silver coins dating back to 13th century, from a pit they had dug up in Kathur village in Uttarakhand’s Pauri district on July 21, district officials said on Friday.

The pot, containing 329 coins weighing nearly four kg, was found when the ground was being dug to construct the main gate for the Bhairav Temple in the village, gram pradhan Shravan Thapaliyal said.

Thapaliyal handed over the coins to district magistrate on Friday.

13th century coins found during digging in Uttarakhand

13th century coins found during digging in Uttarakhand

Experts will soon ascertain the age and value of the coins, Ashish Kumar, assistant director, Archeological Survey of India (ASI), Dehradun said. He, however, added that prima facie, the coins appear to be from the Mughal era, dating between the 13th and 16th centuries. They sport inscriptions in Arabic.

“Since the department is facing a paucity of funds and technical staff, we will seek help from Government of India and HNB Garhwal Central University to carry out further excavation at the site,” the ASI official said.

District magistrate Sushil Kumar said the temple premises and adjoining areas may be dug further with a recommendation to the Centre for further research. He also asked ASI officials and the local administration to keep an eye on the area.

Kumar had asked the sub-divisional magistrate of Srinagar, MD Joshi, and the ASI to carry out a physical verification of the site on Thursday after learning about the June 21 discovery.

However, before the team could reach the site, the village head handed over the container and the coins to additional district magistrate Ramji Sharan Sharma.

Sharma said 293 of the coins found are circular in shape while 38 are rectangular and they weigh 3,785 grams. He added that while the copper container had oxidized, the coins were in good condition.

Professor Rakesh Bhatt of the department of archaeology in Garhwal University, said kings of the Himalayan regions from 13th to 16th Century used to live here, He added that these rulers used to carry out transactions with the currency or coins manufactured by Mughals and Persians.

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