APA Coin Collection (O - Z)

Paracelso (No Date)


Paracelso, also known as Paracelsus, was born on November 11 or December 17, 1493 in Einsiedeln, Switzerland. He was an alchemist, physician, and astrologer. It was believed that he was capable of turning lead into gold. Paracelso was especially interested in the field of mineralogy and produced remedies or medicines with the help of minerals to fight disease. Many of his treatments involved sulfur and mercury and he later introduced the use of laudanum. He is well known for working with magnets placed on the body in order to cure disorders. He designated magnets as bodies which, like the stars, especially influence the human body by means of a subtle emanation that pervades space. Paracelso died on September 24, 1541 in Salzburg, Archbishopric of Salzburg (now Austria). The medallion is in commemoration of his popular medicine and controversial remedies. The coin was minted by Gravarte in Lisbon, Portugal, with the inscription on the back of the coin written in Portuguese. The inscription reads, “ERA SUICO-ALEMAO ESTE IRREVERENTE E POPULAR MEDICO E ALQUIMISTA PAI DA MEDICINA HERMETICA FOI O CIENTISTA MAIS CONTROVERSO DO SEU TEMPO.” The reverse also contains his name above the phrase and his birth and death dates to the left and right of the phrase. The obverse contains a forward-facing bust of Paracelso with the background showing three faces, two which appear to be demons. The design is by Armindo Viseu and cast in bronze. The medal measures 2 ¾ inches in diameter.