Banknotes from the Tierra del Fuego
Banknotes › Tierra del Fuego
The Province of Tierra del Fuego is located in the extreme south of the country. The Big Island limits the east and the south with the Argentine sea, open to the Atlantic Ocean, and it is separated from various Chilean islands by the Beagle Channel. It has an area of 21,571 km² and a population of 126,998 (last census 2010). Its capital is the city of Ushuaia. It is generally considered the southernmost city in the world. Hammerfest in Norway is the most boreal so both are twinned cities (like Barrow, in Alaska, which disputes the northernmost qualification). Julio Popper was born in Bucharest, Romania, in 1857 and settled in Buenos Aires in 1885. In 1886 he made two exploration trips to southern Argentina, first to Cabo Vírgenes and then to Tierra del Fuego, an area where rich auriferous deposits had been discovered. In this second expedition with financing from J.M. Cullen and B. De Irigoyen, he founded in El Páramo, in the bay of San Sebastián (Argentina area of Tierra del Fuego) in 1887 the "Lavaderos de Oro del Sud" to exploit the wealth of the area. Popper obtained extensive territorial concessions from the Argentine government and became, in fact, master of the area. Organized militarily to confront the adventurers and intruders, Popper and his miners exploited the site, extracting interesting amounts of alluvial gold composed of 90% fine, 9.5% silver and 5 thousandths of other minerals. To facilitate the transactions, which were liquidated in gold dust or pips and to feed his legend of powerful businessman, Popper coined gold discs weighing 1 and 5 grams that bear his name. The oldest coins were minted in El Páramo with engravings engraved by the businessman himself and are of a crude and primitive type, due to the precariousness of the means he had. A second, more perfect issue was held at the Argentine Mint.
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