Of all the art-architectural coin series available in recent years, the Mint of Poland’s Imperial Art series has managed to distinguish itself by looking at things differently. Instead of taking a style of architecture, or a look at a single building, Imperial Art showcases a selection of the incredible structures of some of the worlds foremost ancient civilisations. Meant to comprise eight coins released one per annum, this latest coin is the third to debut.
The first coin, one that drew much favourable comment, showcased one of the oldest areas of human civilisation, Mesopotamia, home of the Babylonians. The following year the series headed off to Egypt, a civilisation with a much higher representation in modern numismatics. Also well received despite the increased competition, the third coin has been eagerly awaited. A little later than you’d expect for a 2016 dated coin, it’s here now.
Moving out of the Middle East for the first time, the 2016 coin features many of the architectural highlights of old Imperial China. The reverse face is adorned with representations of the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and the Great Wall. Each is layered with great skill so that all remain distinct, but form a cohesive whole. A window of agate is integrated very well to sit under the centre arch of the foremost temple. The obverse is highly customised as well, despite the requirement of all Niue Island issues to include the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. The window is obviously visible on this face as well, but the artwork is tightly focused on a single structure with only a small statue being superimposed upon it. All the inscriptions necessary on a modern coin are on this face, just the title ‘CHINA’ being sited on the reverse face.
Like most of this new wave of Mint of Poland commissioned specials, we currently only have the art renders. Fortunately, this mint has a track record of the highest possible quality and with the design being clearly laid out in these previews, we see no reason that China won’t maintain the high standards of the Imperial Art coins to date. The mintage is limited to just 500 coins, each numbered on the rim and presented in a wooden coin box. Available from a small range of dealers including sponsors PowerCoin, First Coin Company, World Ancient Coins and Pela-Coins. The coin should ship in March for around the €200-250 mark.