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Armenia 2008 12 Signs of the Roman Zodiac - Gemini The Twins 100 Dram Silver Proof with Color and Zircon Crystal Gemstone

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51315
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Product Description

The twins Castor and Pollux playfully cavort in a night sky studded with an orange zircon crystal gemstone!

Sold out at the Mint!Gemini is an astrological sign, one of the twelve signs of the classical or Roman zodiac. This sign originated with the constellation Gemini and is the third sign of the zodiac.

The Constellation Gemini
Since this constellation is easily viewable as two parallel stick figures, since prehistory it has been associated with the myth of Castor and Pollux (also known as Polydeuces), who as a pair are known as Gemini Chartthe Dioscuri. A myth of these twins heavily concerns cattle theft, and may be connected to early views of the Milky Way. The twins are situated right next to the Milky Way, so it is possible that this galaxy was seen as a herd of dairy cows or cattle.

Castor is identified as the twin on the right, whose head is represented by the star of the same name, while Pollux is on the left, with the star Pollux as his head. The twins are usually viewed as leaning toward the left. However, when right leaning, one of the twins resides within the Milky Way, and the other outside it, a situation making it appear as if one of the twins is stealing the cattle, while the other observes.

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The Sign of the Gemini
As a sign of the zodiac, Gemini is classed as a positive or masculine, extroverted sign. Its element is air and its quality is mutable. Traditionally, in astrology, Gemini is ruled by the planet Mercury and its Geminiopposite sign is Saggitarius. Gemini's period, when it is occupied by the Sun, runs from May 21 to June 21, and the Third House is the house Taurus rules.

In astrology the astrological signs of the twelve houses equal segments or divisions of the zodiac. According to astrological beliefs, celestial phenomena reflect or govern human activity on the principle of "as above, so below", so that the twelve signs at the same time are held to represent twelve basic personality types or characteristic modes of expression.

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Those born under the sign of Gemini are said to be adaptable, versatile, intellectual, spontaneous, eloquent, youthful, lively, talkative, amusing, witty and logical. They are believed to be the most effective communicators, although they can also be superficial, cunning and fickle.

This is the sixth entry in the ongoing "Twelve Signs of the Zodiac" coin program, issued by the Central Bank of Armenia and struck at the Mint of Poland in Warsaw. All the coins in this series feature full color and a zircon crystal semi-precious gemstone cut in the shape of a star.

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Gemstone Note
The orange zircon crystal symbolizes citrine, the lucky stone of those born under the sign of Gemini. The zircon crystal on the obverse is not an accidental choice. Zircon is a naturally-occurring, semiprecious gemstone mined in the mountains of southern Poland. It can be found in a range of colors. Interestingly, zircon crystals are the oldest minerals found on earth. Ongoing scientific research using these crystals has helped to establish the age of the Earth, with the current consensus being about 4.4 billion years old (the age of the oldest zircons found to date). It is therefore appropriate that the oldest substance on earth, and a beautiful, sparkling gemstone at that, is used to portray the timelessness of the twinkling stars in the night sky.

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Gemini Symbol Obverse
A beautifully-engraved rendition of Gemini, the twins, set in the colorfully illustrated night sky, set with an orange zircon crystal gemstone in the shape of a star. The astrological sign of Gemini is also depicted. The English GEMINI appears above and the constellation's Armenian name appears below.

Reverse
In the center, the national coat of arms of Armenia, surrounded by the twelve signs of the zodiac. The legend REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA in English and Armenian, as well as the date of issue and the denomination, are indicated.

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Packaging
Each coin is encapsulated and accompanied by a bilingual (Armenian and English) certificate of authenticity. The certificate states that the "Quality" is "uncirculated", which is true (the coin is certainly uncirculated), but does not adequately describe the actual finish. These are proof finish coins, exhibiting fully-mirrored fields and frosted cameo relief on the designs. We therefore describe these as proof-finish commemoratives, struck with proof dies on specially-prepared and polished proof planchets.

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Specifications
Country Armenia
Year of Issue 2008
Issuing Authority   Central Bank of Armenia
Minted By Mennica Polska, the Mint of Poland
   
Face Value 100 Dram
Weight 28.28 g
Diameter 38.61 mm
Mintage Limit 12,000
   
Finish Proof with Color and Zircon Crystal
Composition .925 Fine (Sterling) Silver
Edge Plain
Packaging Encapsulated



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