The north-central African country of Chad recently became the first country to issue coronavirus-themed legal-tender coins.
Each of the four designs (“Pandemic,” “Outbreak,” “Mutation” and “Quarantine”) features a colourized representation of SARS-CoV-2 as it appears under two-dimensional transmission electron microscopy.
Derived from the Latin word corona, meaning “crown” or “halo,” coronaviruses – like SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 – are named after the characteristic crown-like protein spikes surrounding the virus particles.
The coins are struck in high relief, rising 1.5 millimetres above the reverse designs, while the common obverse depicts Chad’s coat of arms. Each 2020-dated one-ounce Fine silver coin carries a denomination of 5,000 Central African francs (about $11.50 Cdn.) plus a diameter of 45 millimetres and a mintage of 499.
The four-coin commemorative set, which was designed by Artisan Coin Productions, is distributed exclusively by California’s First Coin Company, an authorized dealer for more than 25 mints around the world.
The coins are being sold for $149.90 US (about $205 Cdn.) each.