101145 | GREAT BRITAIN & UKRAINE. Sellafield and Chernobyl cast silver Medal.

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    101145 | GREAT BRITAIN & UKRAINE. Sellafield and Chernobyl cast silver Medal. Issued 1986. Fallout (29mm, 25.97 g, 3h). By M. Appleby.

     

    Representations of flora and fauna (tree, fish, and goat) affected by the impact of nuclear fallout and other airborne environmental disasters; all within vertical 'cat eye' border / FALLOUT / 1986 around horizontal 'cat eye' border. Edge: «4 hallmarks».

     

    BAMS 37, M10. Gem Mint State. Essentially as issued, with a pleasing prooflike nature, great luster, and some subtle toning. A powerful and rare piece, 1 of just 39 cast by the artist from hand engraved dies.

     

    Produced in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster—a nuclear accident in the spring of 1986 near the city of Pripyat in Soviet Ukraine—this moving medal alludes to the impact of the radioactive fallout that touches aspects of life, be it flora or fauna. Due to wind patterns, areas in Northern Europe (like the artist's home country of Scotland) began to see an impact, with particles of caesium-137—a radioactive isotope that is a common product following a fission reaction of the primary "fuel," uranium-235—being scattered across the countryside. Likewise, the much closer Sellafield nuclear power plant, located in northern England near the border with Scotland, has had its own problematic history with contamination. This medal serves as a reminder of the shared experiences of everyone on the planet, and that what can affect one can affect everyone and everything.

     

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