Each release from the innovative Treasures of the World ‘locket’ coin series celebrates a renowned gem and a continent in which it has been venerated through time.
Matching Europe with garnet in 2013 and Australia with gold in 2014, the series now focusses on North America’s association with turquoise.
Turquoise has long played a central role in the art and culture of Native American Indians. Legend has it that when they rejoiced at the arrival of rain, their tears of joy seeped into the Earth where they were transformed into this sought-after gemstone.
Mining for turquoise dates back at least 2,000 years in the Southwest of the continent. Significant deposits have been found in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Colorado and Utah. Originally, indigenous peoples in these areas shaped and polished turquoise into beads and adornments including necklaces, earrings and bracelets. It was also highly-prized for its talismanic properties.
With Spanish colonization and the spread of silversmithing skills during the 16th century, Native Americans fabricated stunning silver and turquoise jewellery. Today, turquoise remains a significant material in their contemporary jewellery designs which are internationally popular.
Classic turquoise is sky-blue in colour and is generally opaque with waxy lustre. Turquoise also occurs in hues ranging from blue-green to green, and often with black veins that lend unique character to individual pieces.
Treasures of the World – North America
Struck from 99.99% pure gold and 99.9% pure silver, this year’s Treasures of the World coins feature a design representing a Southwest desert landscape. Within each coin there is a locket containing hand-cut and polished turquoise sourced from Arizona.
Housed individually in presentation packaging accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity, just 750 gold coins and 7,500 silver coins will be released.