07 July 2023
Pobjoy Mint have revealed a new reverse frosted silver bullion coin issued on behalf of Sierra Leone commemorating 250 years since the birth of British Egyptologist Dr Thomas Young. The coin features the Egyptian God Ra.
Ra was the primary name of the sun God of Ancient Egypt. He was often considered to be the King of the Gods and thus the patron of the pharaoh and one of the central gods of the Egyptian pantheon. He was also described as the creator of everything.
He was believed to travel across the sky in solar barques and, during the night, to make his passage in another barque vessel through the underworld, where, in order to be born again for the new day, he had to vanquish the evil serpent Apopis. Ra was usually portrayed as a falcon headed man and shared characteristics with the sky-god Horus.
Hieroglyphs were used by Egyptians for thousands of years but, following the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great and the imposition of Hellenistic rule, the script gradually ceased to be used. Roman and Greek authors, who could not read hieroglyphs, believed them to be symbolic and not phonetic – a belief which went unquestioned, and effectively hampered decipherment for centuries.
The breakthrough came with the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. The stone records a decree given by Ptolemy V in 196 BC and is, crucially, written in three languages: hieroglyphs, demotic and ancient Greek. By 1814 Dr Thomas Young had completely translated the "enchorial" text of the Rosetta Stone using a list with 86 demotic words, and then studied the hieroglyphic alphabet.
The translation of hieroglyphs allowed for the world to understand many of ancient Egypt's mysteries and myths, including the ancient Egyptian religion which centred in Egyptians interactions with deities believed to be present in, and in control of the world.
The design features an image of the Egyptian God Ra with his name in hieroglyphics appearing in a circle. The design in the background features typical Egyptian decoration with hieroglyphics along with the Eye of Ra. It also features a silver bullion privy mark “P” which is exclusive to Pobjoy Mint Bullion coins. The obverse of the coin features the Coat of Arms of Sierra Leone with a frosted background.
Bullion coins are always a very attractive purchase due to their intrinsic metal value and unique designs. In order to maintain the exclusivity of this piece, no more than 5,000 of the Silver Reverse Frosted Bullion coins will be produced.