Italian commemorative 2 euro coins - Bicentenary of the birth of Louis Braille
Description: The inner part of the coin depicts a hand reading an open book by touch. Above the index finger, which is pointing at the vertical inscription LOUIS BRAILLE 1809–2009, are two birds symbolising freedom of knowledge. The issuing country reference RI is at the top right, while the mint mark R is at the bottom right. Braille's name is written under the book in the Braille alphabet that he invented. At the very bottom are the initials MCC of the artist Maria Carmela Colanéri. The twelve stars of the European Union surround the design on the outer ring of the coin.
Reverse: left from the coin centre face value: 2, on the right inscription: EURO; in the background of the inscription a map of Europe; in the background of the map vertically six parallel lines ending on both sides with five-pointed stars (the reverse is common for all euro coins)
Design: Maria Carmela Colaneri is credited as the engraver for the Italian 2009 €2 Euro Commemorative coin.
Designer / Engraver Inscriptions: 'MCC' Initials of the engraver.
Issuing volume: 2 million coins
Date of issue: 15 October 2009
Face value: 2 euro
Diameter: 25.75 mm
Thickness: 2.2 mm
Weight: 8.5 gr
€2 Edge Inscription: The Italian €2 coin edge inscription is '2', followed by one star, repeated six times alternately upright and inverted:
Mint Location: Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato (IPZS) (State Printing Office and Mint), in Rome, Italy.
Mint Marks: Mintmark of the Rome mint: the letter 'R'.
Located in the middle of the lower right quadrant, inner circle.
National Identification: Symbol: Stylized 'RI'; Repubblica Italiana (Republic of Italy).
Blinded in both eyes as a result of an early childhood accident, Braille mastered his disability while still a boy. He excelled in his education and received scholarship to France's Royal Institute for Blind Youth. While still a student there, he began developing a system of tactile code that could allow blind persons to read and write quickly and efficiently. Inspired by the military cryptography of Charles Barbier, Braille constructed a new method built specifically for the needs of the blind. He presented his work to his peers for the first time in 1824.
In adulthood, Braille served as a professor at the Institute and enjoyed an avocation as a musician, but he largely spent the remainder of his life refining and extending his system. It went unused by most educators for many years after his death, but posterity has recognized braille as a revolutionary invention, and it has been adapted for use in languages worldwide.
The 200th anniversary of Braille's birth in 2009 was celebrated throughout the world by exhibitions and symposiums about his life and achievements. Among the commemorations, Belgium and Italy struck 2-euro coins, India struck a 2-rupee coin, and the USA struck a one dollar coin, all in Braille's honor.
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