This Months Coin of the Month is an NGC MS-66, 1971, 200 Rupee gold coin (KM# 39) from the island nation of Mauritius and is dedicated to my wife Linda.
The Island of Mauritius is a small island east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The island was uninhabited when Arab sailors first landed there during the Middle Ages. In 1505, the Portuguese became the first Europeans to discover the island. Eventually, the island came under the control of the Dutch (1598-1712), the French (1715-1810), and the British (1814-1968). In 1968, Mauritius finally gained its independence from the United Kingdom.
The 1971 Mauritius 200 Rupee coin commemorates Mauritian independence from Great Britain and is 27.28 mm in diameter with a weight of 15.56 grams. It has a metallic composition of .9170 fine gold and an actual gold weight of .4587 ounces. The coin has a mintage of 2,500.
Medalist and sculptor, Cecil Thomas is this coins obverse designer, which portrays a crowned, right facing bust of Queen Elizabeth the Second. English painter and coin designer, Christopher Ironside designed the reverse which highlights a courting couple amidst the native flora of Mauritius. Additionally, the reverse of this coin represents a scene from the French novel, Paul and Virginia, written by Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, and first published in 1788 on the Eve of the French Revolution.
Paul and Virginia is a metaphoric novel by which its author criticizes the ruling and financial social classes of pre-revolution France. Thus, this popular novel became an important piece in shaping the ideologies of the revolutionaries.
The main characters of the novel are childhood friends Paul and Virginia and as fate would have it, Paul and Virginia eventually fall in love. On Mauritius, Paul and Virginia live in harmony with nature, detached from the corruption of 18th-century France. Tragedy occurs when Virginias aristocratic aunt separates her from Paul.
Since I do not necessarily agree with the metaphoric and Idyllic premise of Paul and Virginia, this coin then has come to represent something entirely different. The Mauritius 200 Rupee coin that I bought almost four years ago characterizes my wife Linda and represents the love we have for each other. Therefore, this coin resides in the Special Ladies section of my custom set, Inspirational Ladies.
Thirty years ago, today, Linda and I were married. Since then we have raised two wonderful children. During that time, we have seen both good times and bad. After thirty years, we can say we have come through the refiners fire as pure gold. Perhaps for this reason, the coin representing our love should be made of gold. Therefore, the coin no longer represents Paul and Virginia, but Gary and Linda.
Certainly, I am the person I am today because of Linda, and it is she who inspires me most. I sincerely thank her for her incredible love, loyalty, and support. I love her dearly. On occasion, faith, life, and coin collecting do converge at the same point. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I would be amiss if I failed to recognize God in our marriage by thanking him for all he has done in our lives. I pray that we have many more anniversaries together.
Posted below is a photo that Linda and I created together. Linda picked the background color and I assembled the clip art. I hope you like our anniversary Coin of the Month! Happy Anniversary Linda!