The Perth Mint is pleased to announce...
This beautiful Pure Silver coin is part of the famous “Niobium” series, dedicated to the world’s technological journey. In this edition - the Microcosmos. The coin has two-tone Silver Niobium, has incredible details, has beautiful colours, has a Proof quality and comes in an elegant case, along with the Certificate of Authenticity. Limited mintage to 65.000 pieces worldwide.
Warning: Last items in stock!
Availability date: 06/08/2017
Niobium, formerly columbium, is a chemical element with symbol Nb (formerly Cb) and atomic number 41. It is a soft, grey, ductile transition metal, which is often found in the pyrochlore mineral, the main commercial source for niobium, and columbite. The name comes from Greek mythology: Niobe, daughter of Tantalus since it is so similar to tantalum.
Niobium has physical and chemical properties similar to those of the element tantalum, and the two are therefore difficult to distinguish. The English chemist Charles Hatchett reported a new element similar to tantalum in 1801 and named it columbium. In 1809, the English chemist William Hyde Wollaston wrongly concluded that tantalum and columbium were identical. The German chemist Heinrich Rose determined in 1846 that tantalum ores contain a second element, which he named niobium. In 1864 and 1865, a series of scientific findings clarified that niobium and columbium were the same element (as distinguished from tantalum), and for a century both names were used interchangeably. Niobium was officially adopted as the name of the element in 1949, but the name columbium remains in current use in metallurgy in the United States.
It was not until the early 20th century that niobium was first used commercially. Brazil is the leading producer of niobium and ferroniobium, an alloy of niobium and iron. Niobium is used mostly in alloys, the largest part in special steel such as that used in gas pipelines. Although these alloys contain a maximum of 0.1%, the small percentage of niobium enhances the strength of the steel. The temperature stability of niobium-containing superalloys is important for its use in jet and rocket engines. Niobium is used in various superconducting materials. These superconducting alloys, also containing titanium and tin, are widely used in the superconducting magnets of MRI scanners. Other applications of niobium include its use in welding, nuclear industries, electronics, optics, numismatics, and jewelry. In the last two applications, niobium's low toxicity and ability to be colored by anodization are particular advantages.
The reverse of the coin features a beautiful pink butterfly over the green coloured Niobium core, surrounded by atoms and microorganisms from our planet. On top of the reverse, the inscription: “REPUBLIK OSTERREICH” – the issue country. On the bottom, the inscriptions: “2017” – the year of issue and “25 EURO” – the face value. The obverse of the coin features a pink honeybee and molecule over the green coloured Niobium core, surrounded by elements and particles from our planet. On top of the obverse, the inscription: “MIKROKOSMOS” – the name of the coin.