World_Coin_Nut's Blog

28 Nov 2015

Henry the Navigator

Coins - World | World_Coin_Nut

Over the last couple of years I have developed a strong interest in the coins of Portugal and its colonies. For several hundred years Portugal was a world power due in large part to its prowess on the seas. Portugal had territories in virtually all corners of the world. This has resulted in Portugal having put out a large variety of commemorative coins with nautical themes.

From the late 1990's to early 2000's Portugal issued a series of 44 commemorative coins honoring the nautical discoveries they had made throughout there history. All of these are available from $3-$10 a piece in copper-nickel and are relatively easy to locate. They were also issued in silver and when you can find them are still reasonably priced. Even ifyou leave this series the quantity of interesting coins from Portugal is mind blowing.

The pictured coin features Henry the Navigator on the obverse. Below is a short bio:

Infante Henrique of Portugal, Duke of Viseu, better known as Henry the Navigator was an important figure in 15th-century Portuguese politics and in the early days of the Portuguese Empire. Through his administrative direction, he is regarded as the main initiator of what would be known as the Age of Discoveries. Henry was the fifth child of the Portuguese king John Iand responsible for the early development of Portuguese exploration and maritime trade with other continents through the systematic exploration of Western Africa, the islands of the Atlantic Ocean, and the search for new routes.

King John I was the founder of the House of Aviz. Henry encouraged his father to conquer Ceuta, the Muslin port on the North African coast across the Straits of Gibraltar from the Iberian Pennisua. He learnt of the opportunities from the Saharantrade routes that terminated there, and became fascinated with Africa in general; he was most intrigued by the Christian legend of Prester John and the expansion of Portuguese trade. Henry is regarded as the patron of Portuguese Exploration.

I find it interesting the he was called Henry the Navigator but I can't find any reference that he actually did any sailing himself.

Portugal is a worthwhile country to collect coinage from. Typically you will find that there modern coinage is all easy to find and easy on the wallet.



Level 5

44 comems!


Level 5

pretty coin! where do u find all of these?


Level 5

I spend a lot of time on line hunting.


Level 5

Thanks for sharing this piece of history. If indeed her never sailed his title might be equivalent to our Secretary of the Navy?

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