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Kapok Tree 5 Centavos Guatemala Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Craft Making

Kapok Tree 5 Centavos Guatemala Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Craft Making

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Kapok Tree 5 Centavos Guatemala Authentic Coin Charm for Jewelry and Craft Making

Obverse: Coat of arms with date at bottom.
15 DE
DE 1821

Translation: Guatemala Republic
15 of
of 1821

Reverse: Kapok Tree with value at right and legend at bottom.
Lettering: 5 CENTAVOS

Translation: 5 Cents
Free Grows Fertile

Issuer Guatemala
Period Republic (1841-date)
Type Standard circulation coin
Years 1977-2010
Value 5 Centavos
0.05 GTQ = USD 0.0065
Currency Quetzal (1925-date)
Composition Nickel brass (61% Copper, 20% Zinc, 19% Nickel)
Weight 1.6 g
Diameter 16 mm
Thickness 1.2 mm
Shape Round
Technique Milled
Orientation Coin alignment ↑↓
Number N# 2260
References KM# 276

Ceiba pentandra is a tropical tree of the order Malvales and the family Malvaceae (previously separated in the family Bombacaceae), native to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, northern South America, and (as the variety C. pentandra var guineensis) to West Africa. A somewhat smaller variety is cultivated in southern and southeast Asia. Kapok is a name used in English speaking countries for both the tree and the cotton-like fluff obtained from its seed pods. In Spanish speaking countries the tree is commonly known as "ceiba". The tree is cultivated for the seed fibre, particularly in south-east Asia, and is also known as the Java cotton, Java kapok, silk-cotton or samauma.

The tree grows to 240 ft (73 m) as confirmed by climbing and tape drop with reports of Kapoks up to 77 meters (252 feet). Trunks can often be up to 3 m (10 ft) in diameter above the extensive buttress roots. The very largest individuals, however, can be 5.8 m (19 ft) thick or more above the buttresses.

The buttress roots can be clearly seen in photographs extending 12 to 15 m (40 to 50 ft) up the trunk of some specimens[9] and extending out from the trunk as much as 20 m (65 ft) and then continuing below ground to a total length of 50 m (165 ft)

The trunk and many of the larger branches are often crowded with large simple thorns. These major branches, usually 4 to 6 in number, can be up to 1.8 m (6 ft) thick and form a crown of foliage as much as 61 m (201 ft) in width. The palmate leaves are composed of 5 to 9 leaflets, each up to 20 cm (8 in) long.

The trees produce several hundred 15 cm (6 in) pods containing seeds surrounded by a fluffy, yellowish fibre that is a mix of lignin and cellulose.

The referenced reports make it clear that C. pentandra is among the largest trees in the world.

The flowers are an important source of nectar and pollen for honey bees and bats.

Bats are the primary pollinators of the night-blooming flowers.

Native tribes along the Amazon River harvest the fibre to wrap around their blowgun darts. The fibres create a seal that allows the pressure to force the dart through the tube.

The fiber is light, very buoyant, resilient, resistant to water, but very flammable. The process of harvesting and separating the fiber is labor-intensive and menial. It is difficult to spin, but is used as an alternative to down as filling in mattresses, pillows, upholstery, zafus, and stuffed toys such as teddy bears, and for insulation. It was previously much used in life jackets and similar devices until synthetic materials largely replaced the fiber. The seeds produce an oil that is used locally in soap and can be used as fertilizer.

Traditional Medicinal Uses
Ceiba pentandra bark decoction has been used as a diuretic, as an aphrodisiac, and to treat headache, as well as type II diabetes. It is used as an additive in some versions of the psychedelic drink Ayahuasca.[citation needed]

Seed oil
A vegetable oil can be pressed from the seeds. The oil has a yellow colour and a pleasant, mild odour and taste, resembling cottonseed oil. It becomes rancid quickly when exposed to air. Kapok oil is produced in India, Indonesia and Malaysia. It has an iodine value of 85–100; this makes it a nondrying oil, which means that it does not dry out significantly when exposed to air. The oil has some potential as a biofuel and in paint preparation.

Religion and folklore
The tree is a sacred symbol in Maya mythology.
Sacred tree in Palo, Arará and Santería.
According to the folklore of Trinidad and Tobago, the Castle of the Devil is a huge C. pentandra growing deep in the forest in which Bazil the demon of death was imprisoned by a carpenter. The carpenter tricked the devil into entering the tree in which he carved seven rooms, one above the other, into the trunk. Folklore claims that Bazil still resides in that tree.

Most masks coming from Burkina Faso, especially those of Bobo and Mossi people, are carved from C. pentandra timber.

Ceiba pentandra is the national emblem of Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Equatorial Guinea. It appears on the coat of arms and flag of Equatorial Guinea.

The Cotton Tree is a landmark in downtown Freetown, Sierra Leone, and is considered a symbol of freedom for the slaves that immigrated there.


The current coat of arms of Guatemala was adopted after the 1871 Liberal Revolution [es] by a decree of president Miguel García Granados. It consists of multiple symbols representing liberty and sovereignty on a bleu celeste shield. According to government specifications, the coat of arms should be depicted without the shield only when on the flag, but the version lacking the shield is often used counter to these regulations.

In 1871, for the 50th anniversary of Guatemala gaining independence, president Miguel García Granados asked the mint to produce a design to commemorate the event. The Swiss engraver Juan Bautista Frener designed the shield, and Granados decided to adopt it as the national coat of arms, abandoning the previous coat of arms which had conservative symbolism. In Executive Decree No. 33 of 18 November, the coat of arms was described:

The arms of the republic will be: a shield with two rifles and two swords crossed with a wreath of laurel on a field of light blue. The middle will harbor a scroll of parchment with the words "Liberty 15 of September of 1821" in gold and in the upper part a Quetzal as the symbol of national independence and autonomy.

The flag and coat of arms were further regulated in detail in a 12 September 1968 decree by the government of president Julio César Méndez Montenegro, specifying the elements, colors, and the specific shade of blue on the shield.

The elements of the coat of arms have the following symbolism:

The Quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala, and represents freedom and independence of the nation.
The crossed Remington rifles are the type used during the 1871 Liberal Revolution, and represent the will to defend Guatemala's interests.
The crossed swords represent justice and honor.
The laurel wreath represents victory.
The parchment at the center reads "Liberty 15 of September of 1821", the date Guatemala gained independence from Spain.

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