Gerardus Mercator (05 March 1512 – 2 December 1594) was a Belgian cartographer renowned for creating a world map based on a new projection which represented sailing courses of constant bearing as straight lines — an innovation that is still employed in nautical charts used for navigation. In his own day he was the world’s most famous geographer but, in addition, he had interests in theology, philosophy, history, mathematics and magnetism as well as being an accomplished engraver, calligrapher and maker of globes and scientific instruments.
Mercator’s early maps were in large formats suitable for wall mounting but in the second half of his life he produced over 100 new regional maps in a smaller format suitable for binding into his Atlas of 1595. This was the first appearance of the word Atlas in a geographical context but Mercator used it as a neologism for a treatise (Cosmologia) on the creation, history and description of the universe, not simply a collection of maps. He chose the word as a commemoration of a King Atlas of Mauretania whom he considered to be the first great geographer. This King Atlas was a son of the Titan Atlas but the two myths very quickly coalesced.
A large part of Mercator’s income came from the sales of not only his terrestrial and but very much as well of his celestial globes. For sixty years they were considered to be the finest in the world, and they were sold in such great numbers that there are many surviving examples. This was a substantial enterprise involving making the spheres, printing the gores, building substantial stands, packing and distributing all over Europe.
Mercator was used more than once on other geocoins but never with a celestial globe. Hence our choice for this object on the back side of the coin. The lion and the horse are just examples of the many figures that were drawn on these globes.
The extra thick coin measures 70 by 45 MM in size .
The front and back are a 3D cast zinc alloy with all 3 sides polished and with antique copper plating.
The coin comes in a black velvet pouch!
The antique copper plating is a limited edition – 100.
The tracking codes have the BE prefix.
This item has a unique icon, and is trackable at geocaching.com.