700k gold medallion, commemorative stamps unveiled for Republic Jubilee

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In just a matter of days Guyana will celebrate its Golden Republic Jubilee and a number of celebrations have already begun to commemorate this significant occasion.

To continue with the celebrations four national commemorative stamps and a gold medallion were unveiled on Monday evening at Umana Yana, Georgetown.

The medallion, worth G$700,000, is 99.9% pure gold, weighs one troy ounce and only 200 pieces have been produced. It was highlighted that the medallion is not legal tender.

A competition was launched in 2018 for the design of the medallion and 21-year-old artist Dillon Craig won the competition; his design is engraved on the medallion. It portrays a stalk of gold, a batel, a pickaxe, the Guyana map and a patch of land. The other side of the medallion has the logo of the Guyana Gold Board.

The medallion not only commemorates the Republic Anniversary, but also represents the presence of gold as a trader and its significance to Guyana’s economy.

Gold has been supporting the country’s economy for decades and brought in revenues of US$3.7B since 2015.

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman said: “It is quite fitting that it finds a special place as we celebrate this momentous occasion in our history.”

“The medallion honours the indelible and undeniable contribution of mining and of men and women of our past and present generations,” Minister Trotman said.

The four national commemorative stamps unveiled on Monday show the logo for the Golden Jubilee, the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel- the Liza Destiny, smiling faces of people at Mashramani road parade and two ceremonial maces from colonial times to present.

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes said as the world moves to a more digital space, she is hopeful that stamps will take on more symbolic role.

“The first stamp depicts the historic mace and that reminds us of our colonial origins and it also depicts the mace prior to our republican status and the new mace after, the Liza Destiny is on the other stamp and that symbolises our promising new future as an oil producing nation,” Minister Hughes said.

Delivering the feature address at the ceremony was President David Granger. The Head of State said commemorative coinage, stamps and medallions celebrate the nation’s heritage.

“The act of becoming a Republic allowed Guyana to exercise sovereignty over its own natural resources and to develop its own national symbols – including honours and awards – and, with them, our priceless national pride that is part of our ‘Guyaneseness,” the President said.

The President noted that stamps are a storage of value, highlighting the story of the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta. This is considered to be one of the rarest stamps in the world; it was issued 16 years after the first ever stamp appeared in 1840 and at present has a value of US$9.5M.

“The issue of the commemorative stamp, this evening, as part of our Republic Anniversary observances is celebration of our tradition of achievement,” the President said.

The President also acknowledged the mining sector and its contribution to the economy.

“The gold sector is an economic powerhouse. Gold mining accounts for 9.7 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product. Gold is our largest foreign exchange earner.”

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