Following the popularity of the Southern Sky Series the Royal Australian Mint is using the same stunning design techniques and superb craftsmanship to pay tribute to the awe-inspiring northern sky constellation.
In the first of a three coin series, the beautiful and boastful Queen Cassiopeia’s celestial body is captured, likely to be sough-after by coin collectors and astronomy buffs.
In Greek mythology, Cassiopeia was the beautiful but boastful queen of Ethiopia. While her beauty could never be questioned, her vanity became her tragic legacy.
The sea god Nereus was the proud father of many lovely nymph-daughters known as Nerieds. When Cassiopeia proclaimed that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than any of them, she invoked the scorn of the ruling sea god Poseidon. His raging waters would destroy her kingdom unless she was tied to a chair in the sky and Andromeda was sacrificed.
Cassiopeia can still be seen in the northern skies today, with her throne circling the celestial pole and her arm desperately hanging on. As per Poseidon’s wishes, the constellation is sometimes seen upside down, and appears as either an M or W depending on when it is being viewed.
After being catalogued in the second century by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy, it is still classed as one of today’s 88 modern constellations.
The Royal Australian Mint will release no more than 5,000 of the 2016 $5 Northern Sky Cassiopeia Silver Proof Domed Coin.
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