The Central Bank of Malta’s last coin issue for 2019 will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Suez Canal, an event which had a profound impact on Malta’s economy.
The building of the Suez Canal was a feat of human effort and 19th century engineering. It was formally inaugurated on 17 November 1869, after a prolonged period of gestation and many vicissitudes.
It dramatically shortened the trade routes between Europe and Asia, and as a result, Malta became an important waypoint on the new imperial highway linking Britain with her empire in the east. The increase in maritime traffic fuelled the demand for coal bunkering and ship-related services and Malta also benefitted from increased spending on naval and military infrastructure.
The reverse of the silver coin shows steamships transiting the Suez Canal, and was designed and engraved by Matyas Houf. The obverse, which carries the coat-of-arms of the Republic of Malta, was designed by Noel Galea Bason.
A maximum of 2,000 coins will be minted, each with a face value of €10. The coins have a diameter of 38.61mm and weigh 28.28g, and were struck by Royal Dutch Mint in 0.925 silver.
The coins cost €60 each and may be purchased directly from the Malta Coin Centre’s online e-shop facility or from the main building of the Central Bank of Malta from 8.30 am till 1.00 pm.