World Exclusive: Medusa is the new Mythological Creatures coin from Numiartis and CIT

Appearing for the first time back in 2013, Mythological Creatures was a new silver coin series from a relatively new name, Numiartis, closely related to German coin dealer Intercoins-Berlin. Produced by Coin Invest Trust and struck by BH Mayer in Germany, the coin had a fantastic pedigree, a credit to Numiartis for not compromising on quality. A look at some of the most famous monsters in the myths of various cultures, it’s a subject with an enormous well-spring of stories to tell.

The first coin depicted a werewolf, and laid out the format for the series as a whole. Struck in two ounces of silver, antique finished and high-relief, the format is the current darling of the numismatic world. The main difference was the pretty cool inclusion of a marble insert that instead of just being plonked in the coin like so many windowed designs today, was integral to the art. In the first case the white marble represented the moon, so critical to the myth of the Werewolf.

Fast forward a year and it was the Vampire taking centre stage. Similar in style, it was, after a revamp, another fine design. In this case, black marble in the shape of a bat was the insert of choice, and the artwork was equally intricate and well implemented. The obverse was a classic design from Palau and carries the denomination, the date being placed on the reverse face. Because of this, there are no changes to the obverse from year to year.

The 2015 coin (these coins are always late arriving) has now been revealed to us and while fundamentally the same design ethos is in place, there have been a couple of changes. While the marble insert is back, it’s been coloured this time in a hand applied manner, apparently. I’m in two minds how successful this decision has been. On the one hand it’s a shame that colour is covering the marble, but on the other it’s clear that finding an iconic silhouette to pick out in clean marble would be very difficult with Medusa. Her only really defining symbol is the snake, perhaps too complex to be represented with a piece of stone. In balance it’s probably the better decision to have something clearly Medusa inspired instead of leaving us guessing about the identity of an ill-defined pice of stone. Secondly, CIT have applied their new SmartMinting technique to define the enhanced relief to the highest possible standard.

In conclusion, we like this one as well. While not strictly following the myth regarding Medusa being ugly, the representation of her is beautifully realised. The background is in contrast full of intricate detail. The series logo is struck into the coin, and the snake well placed. We’re expecting this to be in the €250-300 range. Coming well packaged, the 999 mintage coin should be popular with collectors of the series and we’ll update with expected shipping information shortly. We’ve placed pictures of the first two coins lower down so you can see what an impressive set this is becoming.

COIN IMAGES

MEDUSA: THE LEGEND

Daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, Medusa was the most famous of the Gorgon sisters. Female, winged, ugly, and with hair formed of poisonous snakes, Medusa is one of the most iconic monsters in Greek mythology. The only one of the three Gorgon sisters to be mortal (the immortal others were Sthenno and Euryale), anyone who looked into her eyes was turned instantly to stone.

Said by Hesiod in his Theogeny to have lived on the island of Sarpedon, somehere near Cisthene,  Herodotus placed the Gorgons in Libya where he said the original myth began with the Berber religion. In the myth she was said to have been a beautiful, golden-haired maiden, a priestess of Athena living a life of celibacy. She was wooed by the god Poseidon and forgetting her vows, married him. Athena punished her by turning her hair into venomous snakes, her eyes into a blood-shot stare, and her skin into a harsh greenish parody of its former beauty.

Seeing herself, Medusa fled, to wander Africa, dreaded and shunned by all. She became a hateful creature that matched her looks, until killed by the Greek hero Perseus who beheaded her. Perseus used her head to turn his enemies into stone until he gave it to Athena to place on her shield.

2014 VAMPIRE

2013 WEREWOLF

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$10 PALAU 0.999 SILVER 62.2 g 50.0 mm ANTIQUE 999 YES / YES

MINT LINK

NUMIARTIS / INTERCOINS-BERLIN