2 euro Portugal 2011, 500th anniversary of the birth of Fernão Mendes Pinto

2 Euro Commemorative Coins 2 euro Portugal 2011 Fernão Mendes Pinto

Portuguese commemorative 2 euro coins 2011 - 500th Birthday of Fernão Mendes Pinto

The coin commemorates the 500th anniversary of the birth of Fernão Mendes Pinto, the Portuguese explorer of the Asian seas and countries. "Peregrinação" (Pilgrimage), his book on discoveries and adventures was published posthumously. 

Commemorative 2 euro coins from Portugal

Description: The inner part of the coin shows a sailing ship on several wave-shaped inscriptions referring to Portugal, Lisbon, his book Peregrinação and some of his travel destinations. The inscription Portugal appears underneath, and his name above. The years 1511 and 2011 appear are to the left and right of the central image, respectively. 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)

Issuing volume:  520,000 coins
Date of issue: 15 September 2011
Face value:       2 euro
Diameter:         25.75 mm
Thickness:        2.2 mm
Weight:            8.5 gr
Composition: BiAlloy (Nk/Ng), ring Cupronickel (75% copper - 25% nickel clad on nickel core), center Nickel brass

Fernão Mendes Pinto
Fernão Mendes Pinto (c.1509 – 8 July 1583) was a Portuguese explorer and writer. His exploits are known through the posthumous publication of his memoir Pilgrimage (Portuguese: Peregrinação) in 1614, an autobiographical work whose truthfulness is nearly impossible to assess.

In the course of his travels in the Middle and Far East, Pinto visited Ethiopia, the Arabian Sea, China (where he claimed to have been a forced laborer on the Great Wall), India and Japan. He claimed to have been among the first group of Europeans to visit Japan and initiate the Nanban trade period.

He also claimed to have introduced the gun there in 1543. It is known that he funded the first Christian church in Japan, after befriending a Catholic missionary and founding member of the Society of Jesus later known as St Francis Xavier. At one time Pinto himself was a Jesuit, though he later left the order.

Pilgrimage shows Pinto as sharply critical of Portuguese colonialism in the Far East The vivid tales of his wanderings over twenty years – he wrote, for example, that he was "thirteen times made captive and seventeen times sold" – were so unusual that they were mostly not believed. They gave rise to the saying "Fernão, Mentes? Minto!", a Portuguese pun on his name meaning "Fernão, do you lie? I lie!".