Portugal has released the first installment of a new series of numismatic collectors coins entitled Heroes of Sport.
The series in called the Heroes of Sport series and is meant to pay homage to legends from the various sporting disciplines who, through their shining examples of strength, willpower and talent, act as a source of pride and inspiration for multiple generations of the people of Portugal and the world.
The first coin has been released and is dedicated to football(soccer to our North American readers) legend Eusébio da Silva Ferreira(1942 - 2014). Simply known as Eusébio to his fans or by his popular nicknames the Black Panther, the Black Pearl or the King. He is a legend in Portuguese football and one of the most renowned strikers in the world.
As the top goal scorer in the 1966 World Cup with no less than nine goals scored in the tournament, he became a national hero to the Portuguese people. During his legendary career he scored 749 goals in 745 matches at club level and 41 goals for his national team, for a total of 790 goals. He twice received the "European Golden Boot" award , in 1968 and 1973, and in 1961 and 1962 was European Champion for Benfica.
The reverse design of the coin features a depiction of Eusébio scoring the opening goal in the European cup final against AC Milan at Wembley in May of 1963 , as illustrated by André Carrilho. The Portuguese coat of arms and the coin's denomination of “7.5 EURO” appear in the fields to the right.
The reverse shows the right facing three quarter bust Eusébio in his youth, while the legend reads “PORTUGAL 2016” and “EUSÉBIO” in bold letters. The name of the issuing mint and artist who designed the coin appears at the top in small letters “INCM - ANDRÉ CARRILHO”.
Three variations of the coin is available to collectors. The fist is a 28mm pure gold coin of .999 Fineness. The 23.33gram gold proof coin is issued in a cork case with a certificate of authenticity and is being listed online at €1320.00. The gold coin will have a maximum mintage of 2500 coins.
The second piece is a slightly larger sterling silver coin that tips the scales at 13.5 grams. The coin, measuring 33 mm, is struck from .925 Fineness silver and will have a limited mintage of 5000 coins worldwide. The proof coin is issued in a similar case as the gold coin and also comes with the customary certificate of authenticity. The silver variant of the Heroes of Sport : Eusébio coin is listed, at the time of writing, at €55.35.
The final variation on this design is an uncirculated coin of the same size as the proof silver coin. The uncirculated coin is struck from 500 Fineness silver(50% or 500/1000) and as such is slightly heavier than the proof coin at 18.5grams. These coins are to be sold at face value of €7.50. The INCM(Portuguese Mint) notes that these uncirculated coins will be business struck, like ordinary circulation coins, and as such bag marks are to be expected. The expected mintage run of the ordinary uncirculated coin is set at 100 000 coins.