Essential for meteorology, medicine, industry and scientific research, thermometers are not the result of a single invention but an evolution spanning about 2,000 years.
While thermometers’ exact origins are unknown, several historians have credited the first instrument for measuring temperature to Hero of Alexandria, who lived circa 10-70 AD in Egypt.
A people who worshiped gods affecting temperature were the Aztecs, whose civilization flourished in central Mexico before the Spanish conquest.
The story of Itztlacoliuhqui, the god of frost and cold, appears in an Aztec myth of creation. Tonatiuh, the Sun god, demanded obedience and sacrifice from the other gods before he would move. Infuriated by his arrogance, the Lord of Dawn and morning star Venus, Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, shot an arrow at the Sun.
However he missed his target and the Sun threw his own arrow back, piercing Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli through the head and transforming him into Itztlacoliuhqui.
Struck by The Perth Mint from 2oz of 99.9% pure silver the coin is issued as legal tender under the authority of the Government of Tuvalu.
No more than 2,500 of the Thermometer 2018 2oz Silver Antiqued Coin will be released by The Perth Mint.
Featuring an antiqued finish, the coin is inset with an operational dial thermometer including both Celcius and Fahrenheit scales. The thermometer’s face portrays an Aztec-style sun in the middle.
The thermometer is surrounded by Aztec-style patterns and iconography based on the circular Aztec agricultural, or solar, calendar.
The fire-breathing sun god Tonatiuh is represented at the top holding an arrow inone hand, a flaming torch the other and wearing flame earrings. At the bottom is Itztlacoliuhqui, the god of frost and cold, breathing frost and carrying an arrow.
On the left, or cold side of the thermometer dial is an Aztec, or Mesoarmerican, stylisation of a snowflake.
Opposite is a similarly styled depiction of the sun’s rays.
The coin’s obverse reveals the thermometer’s sensor which is encircled by Aztec-style patterning.
This coin has been individually ‘antiqued’ to give it a unique finish conveying the surface abrasions of an ancient artefact. As a result of this treatment, the appearance of each coin may vary.
The thermometer set into the middle of the coin forms part of the coin’s overall appearance and design. It should not be relied upon for measurement purposes.
Each coin is presented in a classic grey display case, within a stylised shipper, and is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.