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Bahamas ( 1 Dollar, 1992 ),Christopher Columbus (1451-1506)

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492, hoping to find a route to India (in order to trade for spices). He made a total of four trips to the Caribbean and South America during the years 1492-1504.

New Zealand (10 Shillings,1967), Captain James Cook (1728-1779)

Captain James Cook was an English naval explorer whose expeditions in the 1770s charted much of the lands of the Pacific, including New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii. He joined the navy in 1755 and became a master seaman in 1759. Cook spent most of the next decade surveying around Newfoundland and Labrador.

Italy (1000 Lire, 1982), Marco Polo (1254-1982)

Most famous traveler whose journey through Asia lasted 24 yeas. He traveled the entire China and Mongolia and became a confidant of Kublai Khan (1212-1294). Marco polo grew up in Venice which was the center for commerce in the Mediterranean. Before his death at the age of 70 Marco Polo left the famous epitaph, "I have only told the half of what I saw."

Portuguese India (30 Escudos 1959), Afonso de Albuquerque, (1453-1515)

Portuguese soldier, conqueror of Goa (1510) in India and of Melaka (1511) on the Malay Peninsula. His program was to gain control of all the main maritime trade routes of the East and to build permanent fortresses with settled populations laid the foundations of Portuguese hegemony in the Orient.

Spain (1000 Pesetas, 1992), Hernan Cortes (1485-1547)

Hernan Cortes the conqueror of Mexico, were the greatest of the conquistadors. The name is frequently used to mean any daring, ruthless adventure. Cortes studied at the University of Salamanca before departing for the Indies. He established himself at Hispaniola and participated in the conquest of Cuba (1511) with Diego Velasquez. He set up an expedition to Mexico with 500 soldiers and 100 sailors.

Norway (10 Kroner, 1984), Fridtjof Nansen (1861-1930)

Nansen made his first voyage to Greenland waters in a sealing ship 1882, and in 1888 succeeded in crossing the Greenland ice field on skis from east to west with five other companions. In 1893, he sailed to the Arctic in custom designed vessel, the Fram, which was deliberately allowed to drift north through the ice, a journey that took more than three years. During this first crossing of the Arctic Ocean the expedition became the first to discover the existence of a deep polar basin. When, after more than one year in the ice it became apparent that Fram would not reach the North Pole, Nansen, accompanied by Hjalmar Johansen (1867-1913), continued north on foot and, in April 1895, reached 86° 14´ N, the highest latitude then attained. The two men were forced to spend the winter, surviving on walrus blubber and polar bear meat. They eventually connected with a British expedition led by Frederick George Jackson in the summer of 1896.

Nansen was a professor of zoology and later oceanography at the Royal Frederick University in Oslo and contributed with groundbreaking works in the fields of neurology and fluid dynamics.

Nansen was appointed as the Norwegian ambassador in London 1906-08. After World War I, Nansen became involved in the League of Nations as a High Commissioner for several initiatives, including organization of exchange of war prisoners and help to Russian refugees, in which campaign he originated the Nansen passport for refugees. For his work in service of the League of Nations he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922.

Antarctica (10 Dollars, 1996), Falcon Scott (1868-1912)

Robert Falcon Scott was a British naval officer and Antarctic explorer. Scott led two expeditions to the South Pole, and died on the disastrous second trip, along with his crew. His team succeeded in reaching the pole, though did so a month after the Norwegian Amundsen and his party. It is less well known that Scott's expeditions were far ranging and achieved much in the fields of science and exploration beyond the fateful polar trek.

Antarctica (20 Dollars, 1996), Roald Amundsen (1872-1928)

Norwegian explorer who was the first to reach the South Pole, the first to make a ship voyage through the Northwest Passage, and one of the first to cross the Arctic by air. He was one of the greatest figures in the field of polar exploration. Amundsen studied medicine for a while and then took to sea. In 1897 he sailed as first mate on the Belgica in a Belgian expedition that was the first to winter in the Antarctic.

Portugal (5000 Escudos, 1995), Vasco da Gama (1460 or 1469-1524)

Vasco da Gama was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the European Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India. For a short time in 1524 he was Governor of Portuguese India under the title of Viceroy.


Portugal (1000 Escudos, 1998), Pedro Alvares Cabral (1467-1520)

Pedro Alvares Cabral (1467-1520) was a Portuguese nobleman, explorer, and navigator who was the first European to see Brazil on April 22, 1500. He was a friend of Vasco da Gama.

Portugal (2000 Escudos,1996), Bartholomew Diaz (1450 - 1500)

Dias was a Portuguese explorer who sailed around the Cape of Good Hope, the southern tip of Africa, in 1488, the first European known to do so since ancient times.

Saint Pierre and Miquelon (1950-1960), Louis Antoine de Bougainville (1729 - 1811)

Louis Antoine de Bougainville was a French mathematician, naval officer and explorer. He was one of the most interesting characters of the Eighteenth Century. Born in Paris in 1729, he started the first settlement in the Iles Malouines (Falkland Islands); he led a voyage around the world in the 1760s; he fought in the American War of Independence; he wrote mathematical treatises and was elected to scientific academies; and he survived a duel and the French Revoloution to become a friend of Napoleon and grow roses. After his death in 1811 he had islands, mountains and plants named after him. He was a Renaissance man in the Enlightenment.

Scotland (10 Pounds, 1986), David Livingstone (1813–1873)

David Livingstone (1813-1873) was a Scottish missionary, doctor and explorer who helped open the heart of Africa to missions. His travels covered one-third of the continent, from the Cape to near the Equator, and from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. He explored the African interior to the north, in the period 1852–56, and was the first European to see the Mosi-oa-Tunya ("the smoke that thunders") waterfall (which he renamed Victoria Falls after his monarch, Queen Victoria).

Livingstone was one of the first Westerners to make a transcontinental journey across Africa, Luanda on the Atlantic to Quelimane on the Indian Ocean near the mouth of the Zambezi.