The 2011 Compass Rose Geocoin® is about the critical importance of the sun and navigation. Navigation by the sun was practically second nature a thousand years ago, even though it was not as accurate without special tools as today's methods. It was very important to know where the sun tracked across the sky and exactly where it would rise and set depending on the season. Since the 1700s, knowing the sun's declination was imperative to calculate longitude. Knowing how to gain longitude was very important to calculate accurate navigation and map making.
The compass rose sun design on the 2011 Compass Rose Geocoin was derived from a map made in 1613. The map covers half of the world on the Atlantic side. Normally, maps containing a great level of artistic detail were not accurate and made only for sale to the general public as display pieces. Ship's captains knew better than to use these kinds of maps; however, this map was not only artistic but also informative.
If you look closely at the different versions of the 2011 Compass Rose Geocoin, you will notice there are two different front side metal designs. One has raised metal design and the other has a recessed metal design. Not only did we make different versions with different colors and finishes, but we added another aspect of using two front dies which truly makes a variety of versions that are very different from each other.
The back of the geocoin illustrates the Copernican astronomical system. It shows the tilt of the earth at its equinoxes along with other planets. The outer ring outlines the zodiacs according to how the constellations are aligned with the sun during the year. Each planet in the coin is represented with a Swarovski gemstone.
Each coin version is named after different aspects of the sun's positions:
- Midnight Sun (polished nickel, recessed front) - Represents when the sun is at its highest or lowest point in the sky (winter and summer solstices) when the sun shines for 24 hours a day over the frigid winter landscapes.
- Daybreak (black nickel, raised front) - Signifying when the sun first rises at the horizon and marking that location to gain an idea of your latitude based on the season.
- Eclipse (black nickel, recessed front) - Only occurring during a new moon, solar eclipses have played a significant part in referencing historical and religious events. The Chinese scientist Shen Kuo, 1031-1095 AD, also used eclipses as his reasoning for why planets were spherical instead of flat; an understanding that became vital for accurate map making.
- Dawn to Dusk (polished gold, recessed front) - Tracking the sun from the morning to the evening is key to good navigation and knowing its ecliptic as each day passes through the seasons.
- Twilight Edition (polished gold, raised front) - Related to the sailor's weather predicting phrase of, "Red sky at night, sailor's delight."
- High Noon (antique bronze, recessed front) - LE version made available to the public. This version represents true high noon when the sun is at its highest point in the daytime sky. This position of the sun is the most critical when taking sextant readings to calculate latitude.
- Dawn's Early Light (polished gold, raised front) - Private LE version.
- YemonYime Version (green coloring) - LE version made for the artist who significantly helped with the artwork for this coin.
- Measures 2" in diameter
- Imitation hard enamel colors
- Two different front side dies
- Swarovski gemstones
- Trackable on Geocaching.com
- A unique icon shows on your profile when you log a discovery with the LE coins having their very own
Regular Version's Icon
Limited Version's Icon
Presales started in Nov 2011 and ended Dec 2011.
Click here to read about compass rose history.
Click here to go back to the list of Compass Rose Geocoins.