There has been some interesting things to write about over the last ten days. But over that time, those of us in the Washington, DC metropolitan area have been catching up on our work after contemplating building an ark following the flooding from a week of rain. So after a very long week, I was looking around for something interesting and out of the ordinary, especially after sleeping in and missing the Saturday session to the Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention.

Very few people are known by one name and endure for hundreds of years. The renaissance has produced two whose work is recognized today for their beauty, innovative styles, and contribution to the general knowledge of the time. Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti is known by his first name and whose art and study of the human body continues to marvel everyone today. The other is celebrating his 400th birthday on July 15, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn.

Rembrandt created his art during the time when the Dutch where the world power, also know as the Dutch Golden Age. At that time, Dutch artists were the cultural center of the world elite and Rembrandt was their star. He is credited with producing over 2,000 self-portraits, 600 paintings, and 300 etchings. Rembrandt’s goal was to show natural movement through his art.

What better way to honor the anniversary of the birth of this master than with a commemorative coin depicting a Rembrandt self-portrait. At the request of the Netherlands Ministry of Finance, the Royal Dutch Mint has created a Rembrandt Five Euro Silver Coin and a Rembrandt Ten Euro Gold Coin with the reverse being based on a Rembrandt self-portrait. The obverse depicts Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. It is a beautiful coin where the artist, Berend Strik, added stitching to the background of both sides to that looks like embroidery to tie both sides together.

Pre-sale for both coins began on June 2, 2006 with production beginning on July 7, 2006. The Royal Dutch Mint reports that the Ten Euro Gold Commemorative is 22.5 milimeters and 6.72 grams of 22-karat (90-percent) gold. The price was set at €197.95 (approximately $250.86) and sold out its 8500 mintage. The Five Euro Silver coin is 29 millimeters and 11.9 grams of .925 fine silver. The price is set at €27.95 ($35.42) with 168 still available out of the mintage of 35,000. I have seen a few being sold on the secondary market if you cannot order directly from the Royal Dutch Mint.

I would love to see this coin. I wonder if it was shipped in time to make it to bourse in Baltimore. I will find out on Sunday.

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