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Swiss 2008 Year of Planet Gold
By CoinNews.net

Federal Mint Swissmint has launched a new Swiss commemorative gold coin entitled "International Year of Planet Earth 2008." The 11.29 gram coin is sold in proof quality only, limited in issuance to 6,000 and is priced at CHF 440.00 (~$423.00 US).

The 60th United Nations General Assembly in New York proclaimed this year to be the United Nations International Year of Planet Earth, with a goal "to show, in a unique and inspiring manner, how earth sciences can help future generations measure up to the challenge of creating a safer and more prosperous world." The new Swiss coin is dedicated to these actions.

In a release statement for the coin, Federal Mint Swissmint wrote:

The United Nations have declared the year 2008 as the "International Year of Planet Earth". World-wide activities on the subject of earth sciences will be co-ordinated by UNESCO, the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and other UN organisations.

What do earth sciences mean to our society? How does the exploration of the earth contribute towards a safer and wealthier world? Geophysicists and scientists will be looking into the answers to these questions during the years 2007 – 2009.

In Switzerland, the Science et Cité Foundation and the Swiss Academy for Natural Sciences are organising BaseCamp09, a road show that will visit six Swiss cities and is intended for the general public. The BaseCamp consists of a basic exhibition on environmental changes and explains the work of the research community. BaseCamp09 visitors will experience the gradual climate change with their own eyes and ears.

The designer of the "International Year of Planet Earth" gold coin is artist Claude Sandoz from Lucerne, who has a wealth of experience in designing coin motifs from past projects for Swissmint. For the Planet Earth, he places mankind in the centre of three globes. The Earth lays at man’s feet and one stands on his head. Man also carries it gently in his hands. The gold coin with a face value of 50 Swiss francs is available in "proof coin" minting quality.

The proceeds form the sale will go to promote cultural projects throughout Switzerland.

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