Reflecting the global popularity of Tirupati Balaji, the Government of Palau, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, is issuing a limited collectors' edition coin dedicated to the deity.
Studded with Swarovski crystals and a small diamond, the silver coins are minted in German Mint and would be sold in Kolkata from Wednesday, said numismatist Alok K Goyal, the authorised marketer of these coins.
The Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, popularly known as Tirupati Balaji, in Andhra Pradesh is visited by millions of devotees annually. It would be for the first time that a foreign country is issuing coins on the Hindu deity.
Although issued by the government of Palau, the design for the coin is done by Goyal, a software consultant by profession.
Priced at Rs 11,111 each, Palau is issuing only 1,111 pieces of the coin in 1 ounce specification. Another 511 coins have been minted in 3 ounce which is embedded with six Swarovski elements besides a diamond.
The face value of these commemorative currency coins would be 5 USD and 20 USD and would be ready for delivery from April 16 on the auspicious day of Chaitra Purnima, said Goyal.
The coins will be cased into specially designed boxes in the shape of small temples with LED lights inside, he said.
Goyal's AG Impex has tied up with a European company 'Coin Invest Trust' to market unusual coins globally.