Who doesn’t know James Bond 007 licenced to kill? After more than two dozen movies and a multitude of actors, hardly anybody, we reckon. Less well known is that the author of the original novels, one Ian Lancaster Fleming, served as inspiration for his own stories. Working for British Naval Intelligence during the second World War, Fleming was involved in the formation of commando units that went ahead of Allied invasion forces to secure documents, as well as multiple deception missions aimed at throwing off Nazi intelligence about Allied activities.
It was after the war that Fleming picked up the pen to create his now iconic character, Commander James Bond, writing eleven novels and a couple of short story collections. The movies have already seen quite a bit of numismatic interest, with the Perth Mint and the Royal Mint both having a selection on offer, but the Mint of Poland have chosen to directly celebrate the author, rather than the work.
The reverse face carries several bold elements from his life, chief amongst them the typewriter, the only one clearly distinct from the character itself. A neat touch, sitting centrally to the famous Bond pattern, is a bullet hole surrounded by ‘blood’. It makes a decent focal point for the eye. The obverse uses that same hole as the barrel for a revolver, not 007’s signature Walther PPK. The rest of the imagery here is clearly a nod to the novels, with the roulette wheel from Casino Royale taking centre stage.
A busy design on both faces, but one that does a good job of encapsulating an author whose personal life was just as filled with excitement as his books were. It also neatly skirts any movie licencing issues as well… A one-ounce proof silver coin,it’s a healthy 50 mm in diameter and has a sensible mintage of just 700 pieces. Presented in one of the latex-skinned ‘floating’ frames, it makes a neat addition to the genre, especially for fans of the franchise he will inextricably be associated with.