Following the sell-out release of the domed coin paying tribute to the Greek mythological story of Cassiopeia, the Northern Sky series continues with this tribute to one of the world’s most famous constellations.
Ursa Major (Latin for ‘the larger/greater she-bear’) has been a key feature of astronomy, navigation and folklore since its declaration by Ptolemy in the Second Century AD.
The constellation (whose seven most prominent stars are commonly known as the ‘Big Dipper’) has captured the imagination of many around the world, as evidenced through its many myths. The Micmac and Iroquois tribes of North America share tales of seven hunters whose pursuit of the bear caused her to spray her blood to turn the autumn leaves red.
Romans believed that the maiden Callisto was transformed into a bear by the goddess Juno, jealous of the attention that her husband Jupiter gave the maiden. Greeks believed that Hera and Zeus were the feuding couple surrounding Callisto’s transformation.
The Royal Australian Mint will release no more than 5,000 of the 2016 Northern Sky Ursa Major Silver Proof Domed Coin.
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