Exclusive: All the worlds ills straight from Pandora’s Box are contained on Powercoins latest silver coin

While best known as being one of the world’s premier commemorative coin dealers, Rome-based Powercoin have also released an enviable selection of quality numismatics, usually in conjunction with industry leaders, CIT Coin Invest. Such series as the Revolutionary Masks, Micromosaic Passion, and Eternal Sculptures, hint at a strong affinity for the art world in particular, but it’s tapping into the hot ancient mythology market for their latest issue.

The tragic tale of Pandora and her box of humanities ills has captivated readers for well over two thousand years, and there have been countless interpretations of how they manifested themselves as the box was opened. How do you recreate an ethereal concept in a realistic manner? The easiest way is to play on the cultural imagery of the day and Powercoin have certainly done that for this quite striking issue.

Seen as if from above the opened box, actually a large jar as the original tale was mistranslated, the view is of a swirling rush of forces bursting free upon the world. Full of dynamism and packed to the rim with detailed high-relief art, this is a hugely impressive piece of work, quite unlike anything else in this genre. As you can see from the pictures, the deep strike is the equal of anything else out there today. Issued for Palau, the obverse features that nations distinctive maritime mythology based coat of arms. This face also includes a wide border carrying on the visual look of the reverse face, although at a standard level of relief.

At three-ounces of fine silver in weight, and with a mintage of 666 pieces, this is no cheap and cheerful coin, but a premium issue. We’ve yet to see packaging pictures, but Powercoin have never disappointed in the past and we’d expect something of fine quality, befitting a coin like this. It should be available to order shortly.

THE MYTH OF PANDORA’S BOX

Famed from Greek mythology, Pandora was not only the first woman, but –as an instrument of the wrath of Zeus– was held responsible for releasing the ills of humanity into the world. The name Pandora means “gifts” and “all”. According to (and perhaps even invented by) Hesiod in his Theogony and Works & Days, Zeus had Hephaistos make Pandora, from earth and water. Zeus’ intention was to use the beautiful and lovely Pandora as a means to punish Prometheus who had stolen fire from the gods and given it to mankind, who would in turn be punished.

Before her departure, Pandora was given a range of divine gifts by each of the Olympian gods. Athena taught her all the fine crafts and dressed her in silvery robes, Aphrodite gave her grace and the means to create burning desire, and Hermes gave her “a dog’s mind and a thievish character” and in her breast “set lies and guileful words”. If that was not enough, she was adorned with fine jewellery by the Graces, crowned with a magnificent golden headband made by Hephaistos, and given garlands of spring flowers by the Seasons. Finally, Pandora was given a large storage jar to take down to earth which she was told she must never open under any circumstances.

Pandora, guided by Hermes, was sent to Epimetheus, the brother of Prometheus. Foolishly forgetting his brother’s advice never to accept a gift from the gods, the beautiful Pandora was made welcome in Epimetheus’ home and the two married, having a daughter, Pyrrha. One day, and fulfilling her destiny, curiosity got the better of Pandora and she lifted the lid of the storage jar which released all the evils of the world. These terrible things included disease, war, vice, toil, and the necessity to work for sustenance.

Pandora, realising her mistake, quickly replaced the lid but it was too late and only one thing remained inside, caught in the edge of the jar’s lip –Hope– so that humanity might somehow bear its sudden and eternal misfortune. “Hope” is the traditional translation from the Greek but actually may be better represented by “anticipation” which includes an expectation of both good and bad events. Through this punishment Zeus thus compensated for the theft of fire and restored the eternal division between gods and humans.

Source: Cartwright, M. (2015, July 27). Pandora. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Pandora/ 

Bold Precious Metals
SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $20 Palau
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 93.3 grams
DIMENSIONS 50.0 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief
MINTAGE 666
BOX / COA Yes / Yes
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