Bicentenary of Struve Geodetic Arc from Ukraine


2016 marks the bicentenary since German-born Russian scientist Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve began his work on what is today known as the Struve Geodetic Arc. To mark the anniversary the National Bank of Ukraine has released a special circulation commemorative five Hryvnia coin.

The Struve Geodetic Arc is a series of 258 survey points stretching from it's northern most point at Hammerfest in Norway to the black sea in Ukraine at its southern most point. It spans a total of ten countries and no less than 2 820 km(1752 mile) from end to end. Struve worked on the project from 1816 to 1855 in an effort to establish the exact size and shape of the earth. His efforts resulted in the first recorded scientifically accurate measurement of a meridian.

The arc was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005.

Ukraine 2016 5 Hryvnia Coin - Struve Geodetic Arc Reverse

Ukraine 2016 5 Hryvnia Coin - Struve Geodetic Arc Reverse

The reverse depicts a map of the Struve Geodetic Arc on the left as it snakes it's path through Europe. The northern and southern most points are noted as well as the length of the arc at 2822km.  An eight pointed compass star is engraved at the far left of the reverse. To the right is a bust of Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve, with the words “Геодезична дуга Струве”(Struve Geodetic Arc) appearing in Cyrillic text. The dates of 1816 – 1855 appear just below.

Ukraine 2016 5 Hryvnia Coin - Struve Geodetic Arc Obverse

Ukraine 2016 5 Hryvnia Coin - Struve Geodetic Arc Obverse

The obverse depicts a 19th century surveyors tool at the left with a depiction of Struve's survey path as he would have taken his measurements at the time. The gps coordinates of the northern and southern points of the arc are noted. The Country of issue(Ukraine), date(2016) and denomination(5 Hryvnia) are all listed on the obverse in Cyrillic text as well, along with the Ukrainian Coat of Arms.  

The obverse design is very reminiscent of the Struve Geodetic Arc silver 20 Euro coin released by Lithuania in 2015 and should not be confused with that coin.

Mintage will be limited to 30 000 coins in special uncirculated for the 35mm cupru-nickel coin.

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