Reino Araucanía y Patagonia 500 pesos 2010

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The Kingdom of Araucanía and Patagonia (sometimes referred to as New France) was an unrecognized state established in the 19th century by a French lawyer and adventurer named Orélie-Antoine de Tounens in southern South America.

At the time the local indigenous Mapuche population of Araucanía and Patagonia were engaged in a desperate armed struggle to retain their independence in the face of hostile military and economic encroachment by the governments of Chile and Argentina, who coveted the Mapuche lands for their agricultural potential.

While visiting the region in 1860, Orélie-Antoine came to sympathize with the Mapuche cause, and a group of loncos (Mapuche tribal leaders) elected him to the position of King. Orélie-Antoine then set about establishing a government in his capital of Perquenco, created a blue, white and green flag, and had coins minted for the nation under the name of Nouvelle France.

His efforts at securing international recognition for the Mapuche were thwarted by the Chilean and Argentinean governments, who captured, imprisoned and then deported him on several occasions. King Orélie-Antoine I eventually died in France in 1878 after years of fruitless struggle to regain his perceived legitimate authority over his conquered kingdom.

The first Araucanian king's present-day successor, Prince Philippe, lives in France and has renounced his predecessor's claims to the Kingdom, but he has kept alive the memory of Orélie-Antoine, and lent continued support to the ongoing struggle for Mapuche self-determination by authorizing the minting of forty or so coins in cupronickel, silver, gold, and palladium since 1988.

Additional product information

Year 2,010
Material Silver
Denomination 500 pesos
Mintage Unknown
Diámeter (mm) 38 mm

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