2015 Compass Rose Collection

 The year 2015 marks the 10th anniversary for the Compass Rose Geocoin, so this year there is two designs to choose from.  Each design comes in five different finishes & can be purchased separately, (except the Limited Edition coins which can be purchased by buying the 5 piece set.

Read about the coins here;


In the year 1596, cartographer and navigator Willem Barents was selected as the leader of an expedition to find the Northeastern Passage to China. Two ships were readied for this voyage, with two captains commissioned for the journey; Jacob van Heemskerck and Jan Corneliszoon Rijp. They set sail in May.

In July, the expedition had discovered Spitsbergen and Bear Island, named after they had sighted a bear swimming by in the arctic waters. It was here that Barents and Heemskerck opted to continue sailing eastward, towards previously discovered Novaya Zemlya. Captain Rijp refused to follow, insisting that the northern regions of Novaya Zemlya were far too dangerous for sailing, and returned to Holland with his ship.

The Design:

The compass rose design on the front side of the 2015 Compass Rose Geocoin is inspired by the design of a snowflake to represent to cold, snowy weather the explorers had to endure. Textures have been added to give it an icy appearance, and the directional elements have been given a sharp, harsh feel to their design. The 17 large dots, looking somewhat out of place among the sharp edges of the compass rose, represent the 17 men who were stuck in the icy cold weather of Novaya Zemlya, with the center dot representing Willem Barents himself. The 8 smaller dots represent the nearly eight months the men spent trying to survive in the bitter conditions.

Featured on the back is the ship being imprisoned and lifted up by ice floes, with the crewmen scrambling on board, alarmed by their situation. Surrounding this image are four animals in 3D; a polar bear to the North, a walrus to the South, an arctic fox to the East, and a seal to the West, with monstrous and dangerous waves among these.

10th Anniversary Compass Rose Geocoin

This coin marks the 10th anniversary of the official Compass Rose Geocoin® series. This compass rose design is not based on an actual compass rose, but incorporates design aspects from the previous Compass Rose Geocoin series dating the years 2010-2014.

The Design:

The back of this coin focuses on the ancient and large constellation Argo Navis. The constellation has since been divided into three separate constellations: Carina (the keel of the ship), Puppis (the stern of the ship), and Vela (the sails of the ship). Pyxis (the mariner’s compass) was formerly a part of Argo’s mast, but is now considered its own separate constellation.

The image shown on the back is based on the Argo Navis drawing by Johannes Hevelius, a polish astronomer known as “the founder of lunar topography” for his detailed charts of the moon’s surface. This drawing had been included in his star catalog, Prodromus Astronomiae. The zodiac signs circling this image signifies the other constellations that are found on his maps of the sky.

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