Griffin of Samtavisi Cathedral & Borjgali 50 Tetri Georgia Authentic Coin Charm for Jewelry and Craft Making (1993) (Gryphon) (Griffon)
Griffin of Samtavisi Cathedral & Borjgali 50 Tetri Georgia Authentic Coin Charm for Jewelry and Craft Making (1993) (Gryphon) (Griffin) (Griffon)
OBVERSE: The relief of the Griffin (or Gryphon) from the eastern facade of the 11th century "Samtavisi” church with the denomination numeral "50” and the Georgian inscription "tetri” underneath. The edge of the coin is circled with a plant ornament.
REVERSE: Borjgali (a symbol of the sun) and the date of mintage (1993) with Georgian and English marginal legends "საქართველოს რესპუბლიკა” and "REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA”.
Period Republic (1991-date)
Type Standard circulation coin
Value 50 Tetri (0.50 GEL)
Currency Lari (1995-date)
Weight 2.45 g
Diameter 19 mm
Thickness 1.40 mm
Orientation Coin alignment ↑↓
Number N# 3790
References KM# 81, Schön# 12
The griffin, griffon, or gryphon (Ancient Greek: γρύψ, grū́ps; Classical Latin: grȳps or grȳpus; Late and Medieval Latin: gryphes, grypho etc.; Old French: griffon) is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and sometimes an eagle's talons as its front feet. Because the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts, and the eagle the king of the birds, by the Middle Ages, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. Since classical antiquity, griffins were known for guarding treasures and priceless possessions.
In Greek and Roman texts, griffins and Arimaspians were associated with gold deposits of Central Asia. Indeed, as Pliny the Elder wrote, "griffins were said to lay eggs in burrows on the ground and these nests contained gold nuggets."
In medieval heraldry, the griffin became a Christian symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine.
In medieval legend, griffins not only mated for life, but if either partner died, then the other would continue the rest of its life alone, never to search for a new mate. The griffin was thus made an emblem of the Church's opposition to remarriage.[dubious – discuss] Being a union of an aerial bird and a terrestrial beast, it was seen in Christendom to be a symbol of Jesus, who was both human and divine. As such it can be found sculpted on some churches.
According to Stephen Friar's New Dictionary of Heraldry, a griffin's claw was believed to have medicinal properties and one of its feathers could restore sight to the blind. Goblets fashioned from griffin claws (actually antelope horns) and griffin eggs (actually ostrich eggs) were highly prized in medieval European courts.
By the 12th century, the appearance of the griffin was substantially fixed: "All its bodily members are like a lion's, but its wings and mask are like an eagle's." It is not yet clear if its forelimbs are those of an eagle or of a lion. Although the description implies the latter, the accompanying illustration is ambiguous. It was left to the heralds to clarify that.
Samtavisi (Georgian: სამთავისი) is an eleventh-century Georgian Orthodox cathedral in eastern Georgia, in the region of Shida Kartli, some 45 km from the nation's capital Tbilisi, near Igoeti village. The cathedral is now one of the centers of the Eparchy of Samtavisi and Gori of the Georgian Orthodox Church. The church is a typical example and the founder of the Georgian interpretation of the cross-in-square churches. It was built in the period of decorative and artistic bloom in the architecture of Georgia.
The cathedral is located on the left bank of the Lekhura River, some 11 km of the town of Kaspi. According to a Georgian tradition, the first monastery on this place was founded by the Assyrian missionary Isidore in 572 and later rebuilt in the 10th century. Neither of these buildings has survived however. The earliest extant structures date to the eleventh century, the main edifice being built in 1030 as revealed by a now lost stone inscription. The cathedral was built by a local bishop and a skillful architect Hilarion, the son of Vane Kanchaeli, who also authored the nearby church of Ashuriani. The Cathedral was heavily damaged by a series of earthquakes, when the dome and partially the western wall and the pillars collapsed. According to the inscription on the western façade, above the window, which says "The secondary builder of the temple was the daughter of king of the kings and the wife of Amilakhor, Gayane", the Cathedral was first partially reconstructed in the 15th-16th century. The noble Georgian family Amilakhvari played significant role in the history of the church. In 1679, Givi Amilakhvari and his wife ordered new frescoes to be painted by Samtavisi bishop Meliton, as documented by inscription on the apse fresco. It was reconstructed again in the 19th century by the architect Ripardi, when part of decorations were lost. For example, one of the two gryphons on eastern façade. The masterly decorated eastern façade is the only surviving original structure. Other alterations included removal of portals, widening and deepening of connections between the façade quadras.
Borjgali (Georgian: ბორჯღალი; also Borjgala or Borjgalo) is a Georgian symbol of the Sun with seven rotating wings around a tree of life. The borjgali can be considered as a main symbol of Georgian culture.
The term Borjgali is believed to derive from Megrelian word ბარჩხალი (barchkhali), which literally means "strong shining". Some other scholars believe that it has different origins. In old Megrelian borj means "time" and gal means "pass" or "flow". So the whole phrase would mean "the flow of time".
This pre-Christian symbol was widely used in both western (Colchis) and eastern Georgia (in Georgian architecture's Dedabodzi (pillar) as part of the Kura–Araxes culture) as a holy symbol. During the medieval period, this symbol was incorporated as a part of Christian symbolism Nowadays, the symbol is used in Georgian IDs and passports, as well as on currency and by the Georgian Rugby Union. Georgian rugby team players are called ბორჯღალოსნები (borjgalosnebi), which means "Men bearing Borjgali". It was also used on the naval ensign of Georgia during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Georgian nationalists often use symbol to emphasize national pride.
The tree of life is a fundamental widespread mytheme or archetype in many of the world's mythologies, religious and philosophical traditions. It is closely related to the concept of the sacred tree.
The tree of knowledge, connecting to heaven and the underworld, and the tree of life, connecting all forms of creation, are both forms of the world tree or cosmic tree, and are portrayed in various religions and philosophies as the same tree.
5 stars review from Chris
What a great resource for coins from around the world! Amazing!