|Measurements and composition|
31.103 g (silver)
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The 100 corona coin is a 1988 fantasy coin of the Republic of San Serriffe, a fictional country created on April Fools' Day in 1977 by the British newspaper The Guardian. Being a fantasy, the piece does not hold the status of legal tender anywhere, and only holds value to collectors.
Conception and developmentEdit
In 1977, Henry Morris (1925/26–), an American numismatist and printer known for founding the Bird & Bull Printing Press in 1958, came across the fictional article in The Guardian claiming the existence of the "Republic of San Serriffe". Having never heard of such a country before, Morris eventually realized the article in The Guardian was a hoax, and sent congratulations to the newspaper for devising such a believable joke.
Later, Morris became interested in privately creating coins. He received information from a local numismatist concerning coin manufacturers and steps for preparing a pair of dies for minting. He ultimately chose to issue his coins in 1988, on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Bird & Bull Printing Press, and attributed them to the Republic of San Serriffe. Under coordination by Stella L. Blazier, the piece was designed by Rosemary Tottoroto and engraved by Kenneth D. Douglas. A total of 500 pieces were coined in .999 fine silver, 155 each in antiqued bronze and aluminum, and 5 in .999 fine gold. The gold pieces were not distributed to the public.
The coin was produced in four metals: .999 fine silver, aluminum, antiqued bronze, and .999 fine gold. The silver piece has a mass of approximately 31.103 grams and bears a partially reeded edge with a number between 1 and 500, representing which of the 500 examples the piece is. Examples composed of aluminum, bronze, and gold simply have a reeded edge without a number. All four compositions are round in shape. Featured in the center of the obverse are the dates "1958 - 1988" inside a rectangular border. Above is a depiction of a bird and below is one of a bull. Both of these illustrations are similar in appearance to those found in the logo of the Bird & Bull Printing Press. Printed along the upper rim of the coin is the legend "BIRD & BULL PRINTING PRESS", starting upwards at the left periphery, arching downward at the top, and concluding at the right rim. The remainder of the coin's boundary is occupied by the Latin proverb "JUCUNDI ACTI LABORES", which is often translated to English as "work that is all done is delightful". Such a legend is separated from the text at the top of the coin by two floral designs. Displayed in the middle of the reverse, in the center of a square border, is an adaptation of the owl (Athene noctua) and olive branch featured on currency of Classical Athens. Directly below this depiction is the date of production, "1988". The fictional state title "REPUBLIC OF SAN SERRIFFE" is inscribed along the upper rim of the coin, commencing upward at the middle left rim, arching downward at the top, and concluding at the center right periphery. Printed along the remainder of the piece's boundary is the "value" reading "100 CORONAS", which is separated from the state title by floral features at either side of the coin.
All examples of the piece bear a proof finish.