007’s creator gets a coin of his own. Spy and author Ian Fleming is celebrated on a silver coin from Niue

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.

IAN FLEMING

Ian Lancaster Fleming (28 May 1908 – 12 August 1964) was a British author, journalist and naval intelligence officer who is best known for his James Bond series of spy novels. Fleming came from a wealthy family connected to the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co., and his father was the Member of Parliament for Henley from 1910 until his death on the Western Front in 1917. Educated at Eton, Sandhurst and, briefly, the universities of Munich and Geneva, Fleming moved through several jobs before he started writing.

While working for Britain’s Naval Intelligence Division during the Second World War, Fleming was involved in planning Operation Goldeneye and in the planning and oversight of two intelligence units, 30 Assault Unit and T-Force. His wartime service and his career as a journalist provided much of the background, detail and depth of the James Bond novels.

Fleming wrote his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1952. It was a success, with three print runs being commissioned to cope with the demand. Eleven Bond novels and two collections of short stories followed between 1953 and 1966. The novels revolve around James Bond, an officer in the Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6. Bond is also known by his code number, 007, and was a commander in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. The Bond stories rank among the best-selling series of fictional books of all time, having sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Fleming also wrote the children’s story Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang and two works of non-fiction. In 2008, The Times ranked Fleming 14th on its list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.

Fleming was married to Ann Charteris, who was divorced from the second Viscount Rothermere because of her affair with the author. Fleming and Charteris had a son, Caspar. Fleming was a heavy smoker and drinker for most of his life and succumbed to heart disease in 1964 at the age of 56. Two of his James Bond books were published posthumously; other writers have since produced Bond novels. Fleming’s creation has appeared in film twenty-six times, portrayed by seven actors.(Source: Wikipedia)

Bold Precious Metals
SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION 1,000 Francs CFA (Cameroon)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 50.0 mm
FINISH Proof
MODIFICATIONS Colour highlight, hole
MINTAGE 700
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
MINT OF POLAND