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The last eclipse of the previous millennium 1999 (English)

The eclipse of 1999 passed across the most densely populated parts of Europe and perhaps the world. Never before were so much eclipse coins and medals created for such an occasion. First let us see that were struck in the English-speaking world.

The totality crossed the south- western tip of Britain. In the country island the Bigbury Mint issued a medal in relation to the event. This medal might not be better characterized as described in details on the website of the company. " The reverse shows a radiant sun with the moon superimposed, plus a map of the south west of England, showing the path of the Eclipse where the event will be at it’s most spectacular. The solar map shows the positioning of the major planets at the time of the Eclipse." In fact, if we carefully look at this solar map, we find the brightest planet Venus left from the Sun, and roughly at the same distance to the right Mercury. On the west side of the map (W)  Jupiter and Saturn is visible. To the south Sirius, the brightest star in the sky and the constellation Orion is displayed. In the north-eastern sector (EN) the Big Dipper and at the outer edge of circle the Arcturus are recognizable. The obverse image was inspired by the painting Apostle of Peter Rubens. As the Mint's website writes: " The two men are gazing up to the sky in awe and wonder. This seemed appropriate for the Eclipse because of the spiritual, as well as the scientific significance of the event."

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The Channel Islands also played their part and issued coins. Alderney issued two coins, a two pounds and a five pounds. Both coins were made from both silver and nickel. Here the two pounds nickel coin is displayed.

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Probably the most beautiful of all medals that were issued to this eclipse is the silver and partly gilt five pounds coin.

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Guernsey commemorated the event by issuing a holed 5 pounds silver coin. The absence of the material in the center of the coin well characterize the experience of the missing of the Sun as obscured by the Moon.

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English legend can be found on the following nickel coin along with French and German text. I could not determine exactly who issued it, but the coin was packed together with a phone card usable in England so it can be assumed that in spite of the German reverse, it was released in Great Britain.

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Although the eclipse was not visible at all from the Cook Islands they issued a commemorative gold coin worth $10 for the event. The obverse is almost completely filled by the radiant Sun. The cover of Moon's disk at different times is displayed, i. e. showing the data of different eclipse phases.

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Finally, St. Justin jeweler company in Cornwall issued 5,000 copies of numbered medals to the event. The medals were made of enameled tin alloy.

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The path of totality through Great Britan during the total solar eclipse of 11 August, 1999