Featured Kazakhstan – Homeland of Apples

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by ddddd, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    Did you ever wonder about the origin of something you commonly encounter? The apple, which is the fourth most harvested fruit worldwide (third if we removed tomatoes-we all know they aren’t “true” fruits :D), can be traced to the mountains of Central Asia, especially Kazakhstan. Almaty, formerly the capital of Kazakhstan and still the largest city, is home to forests containing the wild apple Malus sieversii. It has been shown to be the ancestor of the domesticated apples many of us consume nowadays. Even the name “Almaty” is derived from the Kazakh word for apple (“алма“). The city and country takes pride in this wonderful fruit with billboards, a fountain, and even a coin.

    I recently added the aforementioned coin to my collection. Issued in 2013, the coin has a simple yet striking design. What is even more interesting is that the two sides are almost like halfs of two different coins. One side is a proof with selected gilding of the apples. Meanwhile the other side is more of a matte or reverse proof.


    Malus sieversii

    The apple fountain in Almaty

    Sources/further reading:





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  3. ddddd

    ddddd Member

  4. SensibleSal66

    SensibleSal66 U.S Casual Collector / Error Collector

    Wow , I don't know what to say. I'm fairly new to World Coins but I had to check this out .
    This coin is amazing ! I love the design and the fact one side is diff. from the other .
    Excellent write-up also . Thanks for sharing !:happy:
    ddddd likes this.
  5. Morgandude11

    Morgandude11 As long as it's Silver, I'm listening

    Gorgeous coin. I came very close to buying one the other day. Just wow! Beautiful! Shame that the US Mint produces such junk as moderns.
    ddddd likes this.
  6. Mkm5

    Mkm5 Well-Known Member

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  7. eddiespin

    eddiespin Fast Eddie

    If we can get off the coin for a minute, is that region the origin of the apple? It is said South America is the origin of the tomato (which, BTW, I consider a veggie as well :)).

    That said, great-looking coin. A higher quality of skill and workmanship than we’re accustomed to here went into that one.
    Morgandude11 and ddddd like this.
  8. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    To be fair it’s usually not their fault. Their hands are usually tied by the horrendous committee members (who should all be replaced or disbanded) for what designs to use and they usually have little to no say in what the topic has to be. They do make some beautiful medals that would be very popular as coins, but of course as medals almost no one cares
  9. Maxfli

    Maxfli Well-Known Member

    Thank, d. I learned something today.
    ddddd likes this.
  10. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    The sources I saw do say that the forests along the lower slopes of the Tian Shan Mountains are where apples originated. Many of those are right outside the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan (although some are also in Kyrgyzstan and China).
    Sulla80, Morgandude11 and eddiespin like this.
  11. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    Yes the committee members have made multiple odd or downright poor choices over the years. The legislation that requires certain topics or even designs also limits the output. Still, there seems to be a lack of imagination when it comes to many of the designs (even with limits I would like to see more creativity from the artists).
    Morgandude11 likes this.
  12. eddiespin

    eddiespin Fast Eddie

    How fascinating, thank you. Now they're propagated all over the world, just like tomatoes. I wonder if Marco Polo in his visits to the East was the first to bring the seeds over to Europe. That would fix a general time frame on it. But I dig these questions. I love apples, too. :)
    ddddd likes this.
  13. Kashmir Pulaski

    Kashmir Pulaski Well-Known Member


    This is VERY cool.
    Would you mind if I reposted this on FB in some coin clubs?

    So many of the people in the FB clubs are real simpleton. Thats not bad in itself. I think it's really funny how they get all excited about American pocket change coins. I like how our hobby can make so many people happy.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  14. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Realistically that's the committees fault as well. The artists design to try and get their designs selected, why try when everytime theres one with a lot of detail or a great one it never gets picked anyways. There's a lot of really great designs that have come through and they just never get picked. It's like they actively get together and say which one of these is the worst, thats the one we want
    Morgandude11 likes this.
  15. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    It's a combination of things. If all the artists submitted creative designs, the committee would have to choose something decent (unless they rejected everything). And from looking at many candidates over the years, it was fairly rare to see multiple good design proposals for any one coin (in fact it was always more common to not even see one decent proposal).
    Morgandude11 likes this.
  16. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    Thanks! Sure, feel free to repost.
    Kashmir Pulaski likes this.
  17. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    Some of the sources say that apples traveled via the Silk Road to Europe. So it is possible that Marco Polo brought some or it could have been done even earlier.
    eddiespin likes this.
  18. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Which they have before. Not everything they design is world class nor is every designer, but when the committee for years on end continues to select things in a certain fashion I can’t blame artists for then trying to tailor to what they think the committee wants so they get picked instead of just trying to make the best design.
  19. Jaelus

    Jaelus The Hungarian Antiquarian Supporter

    Very interesting. In Hungarian, apple is alma, and I know in Turkish it is elma. One of the words nearly the same between the two languages, but I didn't realize why.
    ddddd likes this.
  20. Sulla80

    Sulla80 Supporter! Supporter

    The capital of Kazakhstan, Almaty, Kazakh: Алматы, formerly known as Alma Ata, has a name derived from the word Apple: Kazakh: Алма.

    "Apples, taxonomically, are members of Rosaceae, the Rose family, along with such other yummy edibles as pears, plums, peaches, cherries, strawberries, and raspberries. DNA analysis indicates that apples originated in the mountains of Kazakhstan, where the wild Malus sieversii—the many-times great-grandparent of Malus domestica, the modern domesticated apple—still flourishes."
    -National Geographic, History of Apples

    While the Old Testament, Genesis refers to an unspecified “fruit”, the apple may have become associated with the "forbidden fruit" because malus in Latin means "apple" and "evil". Venus holds an apple on this ancient coin, a reference to the myth of the golden apple that started the Trojan War. See: The Judgement of Paris.
    Faustina Venus.jpg
    Roman Empire, Faustina Junior, Augusta, AD 147-175, AR denarius, Rome mint, struck under emperor Antoninus Pius, circa AD 147-150
    Obv: Draped bust right, wearing a single circlet of pearls around head
    Rev: Venus standing left, holding apple and dolphin-entwined rudder
    Ref: RIC III 517c
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  21. Sulla80

    Sulla80 Supporter! Supporter

    definitely much earlier - the Romans already boasted many varieties of apples in the 1st century AD and before. More here: https://www.sullacoins.com/post/a-rose-by-any-name
    ddddd likes this.
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