Monday, August 11, 2014

Portugal 1989 - 100 Escudos - 570th Anniversary of discovery of Madeira and Porto Santo

KM #:  647
Metal: Copper-Nickel (issued also in 0.925 silver, 0.917 gold, and 0.999 palladium)
Weight: 16.5 grams
Diameter:  34 mm
Thickness: 2.8 mm
Engraver: Isabel Carrico, Fernando Branco (reverse)
Demonetized: 2002
Mintage: 2,000,000

This coin is recent addition to my collection, bought at the SIPA Exhibition, Chennai on July 25 - 27, 2014.

The coin was issued to commemorate 570th Anniversary of discovery of Madeira and Porto Santo.

The reverse depicts the square-rigged vessel Sao Lourenco of the Portuguese navigator Joao Goncalvez Zarco in 1419/20, and relief maps of Madeira (below the ship) and of Porto Santo (at top right). The time of this voyage strongly suggests that Zarco's vessel of trade in northern Europe, and is generally described as being a little larger than the barca (bark), which was commonly used in southern Europe. A barinel was perhaps 50 - 60 ft long and 15 - 18 ft in beam. The bonnet of the sail with the words AVE MARIA inscribed on it was a common nautical motif of the time. The reverse legend 1420 MADEIRA - PORTO SANTO 1419 marks the rediscovery of these two islands by Zarco and his companion Tristao Vaz Teixeira. They first discovered Porto Santo. From there they sailed out to the island nearby that could be seen in clear weather. They named it Ilha da Madeira (Island of Timber) as the island was densely covered with trees. The long tongue of land on Madeira they named Sao Lourenco, for Zarco's ship. At the time of discovery, Madeira was uninhabited. Settlers soon followed after the discovery. Their sugar plantations created a demand for slave labor, which served as an incentive to explore the western coast of Africa.

Text Source:
2. Watercraft on World Coins, Vol II - by Yossi Dotan
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