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The F.N.M.T. - R.C.M. presents a new series of coins dedicated to recall the "History of Navigation". These series reproduce a selection of boats that, for one reason or another, have been relevant over time. It consists of twenty coins. Four of them are put into circulation in 2018 and the remaining 16 in 2019.To collect them, you can purchase the book "History of Navigation" (art. 92887050), which describes the technical characteristics of each of the boats.

Special launching offer! With the purchase of the first four coins (Phoenician Combat Ship, Drakkar Scandinavo, Spanish Navy and Juan Sebastian de Elcano School Ship), we will send you the collection book-case free of charge (art. 32887050).

A detail of the work entitled "Phoenician and Assyrian combat ships at the service of Persia in the time of Cambises " by Rafael Monleón y Torres is reproduced in colour on the obverse. The painting is housed in the Naval Museum of Madrid. To the right, the mint mark. Above the central image, in a circular direction and in capital letters, the inscription NAVE DE COMBATE FENICIA.

On the reverse (common to all the pieces), the face value of the coin 1.5 EURO and the inscription HISTORY OF THE NAVIGATION appear. Out of the central circle there are six dolphins jumping, counter clockwise, on the same aquatic motifs that appear in the obverses.

Information about the Coin
Series History of Navigation  
Year 2018  
Colour Yes  
Diameter (mm) 33  
Face Value (Euro) 1.5
Metal Cruponickel  
Weight (g) 15  
Maximum Mintage (units) 10,000  


Era: between the 16th and 4th centuries BC
Length: between 40 and 50 m Beam: between 8 and 10 m
Propulsion: mixed propulsion with one or two masts with square sails and one or two rows of oars on each side.
Armament: catapults and the weapons of the fighters manning the ship.

Description: the Phoenicians were the best shipwrights of their time, generally building their ships lighter and sturdier than their competitors. As they were mainly a nation of merchants, most of their vessels were merchant ships. Nevertheless, the Phoenician warship came to being due to their need to protect themselves and attack other vessels at sea. While their merchant ships were naturally round and wide in order to maximise their loading capacity even at the expense of speed, warships were elongated and with small draught, which made them suitable to be propelled by oars. At first they built symmetrical ships not only from side to side but also from both ends, which served both as aft and bow in order to be able to raid the coast and quickly sail off.

The sail was used to navigate off the wind while in transit.  Their basic design - the shape of the hull and the means of propulsion – became the blueprint of many warships from several contemporary and later cultures, such as for example the Greek, Carthaginian, and Roman galleys. The Byzantine galley and even the Christian galley were later derived from these designs.

Originally, they had a single row of oars on each side, but the 7th century saw the appearance of biremes bigger than their predecessors. Up to two oar-rudders could be placed on the aft in order to improve manoeuvrability, one on each side, and it has been suggested that they even had one on the bow to aid in reversing the course more quickly.
They were equipped with a bronze stem used to ram enemy ships and pierce their hulls. In smaller ships, warriors manned an elevated structure on the bow (forecastle) from where they threw their weapons against enemy ships after engaging them. In bigger ships, the elevated structure ran all along the length of the ship. They were usually decorated with large eyes painted on the tacks of the ship and with references to their gods.

Milestones: the Phoenicians dominated the Mediterranean with their ships, and even peaked into the Atlantic. The most famous voyage attributed to them was carried out around the year 600 BC under the orders of Pharaoh Necho II. According to many scholars, the voyage succeeded in circumnavigating Africa counter-clockwise.