Centennial Coin Programme, International Olympic Committee (IOC)
Silver Proof, Sterling .925 fine; Mintage: 30,000
40 mm (1-9/16”), 33.63 grams
HISTORY: Series V, “THE GAMES OF THE FIRST OLYMPIAD,” was the fifth and final series of coins issued by Greece exactly 100 years from the first modern Olympic Games held in 1896.
OBVERSE: “EΛΛHNIKH ΔHMOKPATIA 1996” (Democratic Republic of Greece), around the rim, frames a landscape illustrating the Panathenaic Stadium, which is also known as Killimarmaro (“beautiful marble”). The stadium is shown beneath the Parthenon Temple on the hill of the Acropolis of Athens beyond. Above the Parthenon is a laurel wreath with “1886” in the center. Beneath the stadium is “ΔPAXMEΣ” and “1000” (1000 drachmes). At the bottom of the coin is the anthemion flower, mint mark of IETA (Banknote Printing Works of the Bank of Greece). Below the stadium image, and to the right, are the initials “B.Σ.”
REVERSE: Runners are featured on this coin issue, based on an ancient Greek motif. In ancient Greece, running was used in contests and as a skill in battle to bring news of the battle’s progress. It was also an essential sport, to honor the gods, as well as for self-honor. Among the four types of races at Olympia, the stadion was the oldest event of the Games. Runners sprinted for 1 stade (192 meters, or 210 yards), which was the length of the stadium. Above the runners, to the right, are the Olympic rings and “1896-1996.”
EDGE: “CITIUS ALTIUS FORTIUS” (Motto of IOC, Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger”).