• 5 Deutsche Mark 1973, KM# 136, Germany, Federal Republic, 500th Anniversary of Birth of Nicolaus Copernicus
  • 5 Deutsche Mark 1973, KM# 136, Germany, Federal Republic, 500th Anniversary of Birth of Nicolaus Copernicus
Description

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) was a Renaissance-era mathematician and astronomer, who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than Earth at the center of the universe.

The publication of Copernicus' model in his book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), just before his death in 1543, was a major event in the history of science, triggering the Copernican Revolution and making a pioneering contribution to the Scientific Revolution.

Copernicus was born and died in Royal Prussia, a region that had been part of the Kingdom of Poland since 1466. A polyglot and polymath, he obtained a doctorate in canon law and was also a mathematician, astronomer, physician, classics scholar, translator, governor, diplomat, and economist. In 1517 he derived a quantity theory of money—a key concept in economics—and in 1519 he formulated an economic principle that later came to be called Gresham's law.

Engraver: Reinhart Heinsdorff

Obverse

Depicts circularly stylized (reminds a globe) Federal Eagle in the centre, surrounded by the country name, facial value divides issue date. Mintmark of Hamburg Mint (J) near the eagle's head.

The coat of arms of Germany displays a black eagle with red feet, beak and tongue on a golden field. This is the Bundesadler or "Federal Eagle", formerly the Reichsadler or "Imperial Eagle". It is a re-introduction of the coat of arms of the Weimar Republic (in use 1919–1935) adopted by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1950. The current official design is due to Tobias Schwab (1887–1967) and was introduced in 1928.

BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND
J
19 73
5 DEUTSCHE MARK

Reverse

Depicts a part of Copernicus's schematic diagram of his heliocentric theory of the Solar System, with the sun in the centre surrounded by the orbits of the 6 planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn). The scientist's name and life years on the left, the inscription "Sphere of the Fixed Stars" on the right.

The Solar System is the gravitationally bound system of the Sun and the objects that orbit it, either directly or indirectly. Of the objects that orbit the Sun directly, the largest are the eight planets.

For most of history, humanity did not recognize or understand the concept of the Solar System. Most people up to the Late Middle Ages–Renaissance believed Earth to be stationary at the centre of the universe and categorically different from the divine or ethereal objects that moved through the sky. Although the Greek philosopher Aristarchus of Samos had speculated on a heliocentric reordering of the cosmos, Nicolaus Copernicus was the first to develop a mathematically predictive heliocentric system.

NIKOLAUS KOPERNIKUS 1473 - 1543 * SPHÄRE DER FIXSTERNE *
SATVRN
JVPITER
MARS
ERDE
VENVS
MERKVR

Edge

Inscription in Latin "At the centre seats the sun"

IN MEDIO OMNIUM RESIDET SOL

5 Deutsche Mark

500th Anniversary of Birth of Nicolaus Copernicus

KM# 136 Schön# 135 Jaeger# 411
Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Silver
Fineness 0.625
Weight 11.2 g
Diameter 29 mm
Thickness 2.07 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Mint
Hamburg Mint (J)

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