Vesuvius is one of two active volcanoes located on the European mainland, and one of the five most dangerous and oldest volcanoes in the world.
It is located 9 km east of Naples on the Italian mainland. In August 79 AD, its eruption led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as several other settlements. The thermal energy released by the eruption was a hundred thousand times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombings. More than 1,000 people died in the eruption, but exact numbers are unknown.
Vesuvius has erupted many times since and is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years. Today, it is regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of the 3,000,000 people living nearby and its tendency towards violent, explosive eruptions.
An exceptional accomplishment of contemporary coinage—the only one of its kind silver coin in the shape of a volcano—is the embodiment of pure innovation! Its extraordinary design and shape emblematically reflect the turbulent history of the ancient city of Pompeii and the lava-sputtering mountain towering over it.
This pure silver coin is ornately decorated with Roman mosaic motifs and the images of Bacchian rites from the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii.
Composition: 99.9% pure silver
Weight (g): 186.6 (6 ounces of silver)
Diameter (mm): 54.00 x 16.00 x 21.00 mm
Face value: 30 New Zealand dollars
Issuing country: Niue
Issuing Mint: The Polish Mint
Excerpts on the history of Mount Vesuvius courtesy of Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Vesuvius)
Image and description courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint (http://www.mint.ca/store/coins/coin-prod2820020?lang=en_CA&sp_mid=15890931&sp_rid=bXNvdXphMTg2NkBnbWFpbC5jb20S1&spMailingID=15890931&spUserID=MzE0Mjg4MDY3ODcxS0&spJobID=903296944&spReportId=OTAzMjk2OTQ0S0#.WCoKD9UrLIU)