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2009 Tutankhamun Sand Triangle Coin
By Pobjoy Mint

World’s First Pyramid Shaped Coin Encapsulated with Sand - 70th Anniversary of the Death of Howard Carter

For the first time in thirty five years, London welcomed back the treasures of the world’s most famous pharaoh, Tutankhamun. In 1972, the unprecedented Tutankhamun Exhibition fascinated visitors worldwide with London striking attendance records of 1.7 million.

In November 2007 these marvellous historical artefacts and more returned to London – the only city in Europe to host the ‘Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs’ exhibition – and to celebrate this momentous event, Pobjoy Mint is thrilled to announce the release of another coin on behalf of the Isle of Man Treasury, which is the world’s first pyramid shaped coin containing sand from Tutankhamun’s tomb! This sand was collected by our very own Managing Director, Taya Pobjoy, as shown in the certificate.
Most of Tutankhamun’s popularity stems from the fact that his tomb was discovered in 1922 in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor almost completely intact by English archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter.

Howard Carter was introduced to Lord Carnarvon who he was soon working for. Carnarvon went on to finance Carter’s search for the tomb of Tutankhamun, who was unknown to most people except Carter who discovered the Pharaoh’s existence.

After several years of unsuccessful searching, Carnarvon was becoming disgruntled as his financing hadn’t paid off and, in 1922, he gave carter one more season of funding to find the tomb.

On 4th November 1922, Carter uncovered the steps leading to Tutankhamun’s tomb. Carnarvon arrived on the 26th November with his daughter and others in attendance to witness Carter making the famous ‘tiny breach in the top left hand corner’. On the 16th February 1923 they finally opened the sealed door in the antechamber to discover the Pharaoh’s burial chamber. Howard Carter went on to retire from archaeology to become a collector and on the 2nd March 1939 he unfortunately passed away at the age of 64.

Pobjoy Mint is pleased to announce the release of this coin on the 70th anniversary of the Death of Howard Carter, to commemorate his life and his fantastic career in archaeology which has brought us and many more to come the fascinating artefacts of the otherwise mysterious history of Egypt. It is therefore also most fitting that the Isle of Man Treasury should issue this spectacular coin since the Great Nephew of this illustrious excavator is a current resident of the Island! These coins now complete the range of commemorative Tutankhamun coins.

2009 Tutankhamun Sand Triangle Coin Design

The design of this special coin comes from the ancient Egyptian story from the books of the Underworld called ‘The Night Journey’. The ancient Egyptians would decorate the walls of the pharaoh’s tombs with scenes from these books. This story in particular is divided into twelve chapters, representing the twelve hours of night.

The ancient Egyptians believe that the 12 hours after death are symbolic for a person’s journey into the underworld and for achieving rebirth at dawn and therefore adopting the process of mummification to protect the deceased through their journey into the afterlife.

Since Tutankhamun died unexpectedly, the decorators of his tomb completed his wall paintings with haste and instead of showing the twelve different chapters of the night journey, they represented each hour with a baboon and a short explanation in hieroglyphics.

The central image is taken from a wall decoration from Tutankhamun’s tomb and depicts the Pharaoh in the centre with his cartouche being welcomed by Anubis – God of the Underworld and Hathor - Goddess of Love and Beauty (and also the Goddess who offered comfort to the newly dead) who is offering Tutankhamun the ‘key of life’. Two baboons appear on either side representing the 12 hours. The sun disc appears at the top of the design and this is where the magical ancient sand from Tutankhamun’s tomb will appear encapsulated by a sheet of glass.

On the obverse, the coin bears a fine effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS FSNAD surrounded by a pattern of hieroglyphics and the word Tutankhamun. Each beautifully hand crafted precious metal coin has been struck four times to produce a stunning mirror finish background with the design sculpted in striking relief.

What makes these exceptional coins even more special is the packaging for which we have developed a triangular shaped box with a striking gold metallic finish to simulate the richness of all things Egyptian.

 



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