One of our favourite mints, known for there outstanding technical expertise, ground-breaking designs, and broad choice of theme, the Mennica Polska (Mint of Poland) also release quite a number of coins of simpler design. Producers of some fine standard coloured silver coins as well, nature coins like the SOS Endangered Animal Species, Stunning Galaxies, and Fascinating Birds, for example, the mint also does an interesting line in numismatics like those that have been augmented by an unusual insert.
This beautiful new release is a homage to the iconic symbol of Ancient Egyptian divinity, the scarab beetle. Clean-struck with a superb intricate design, the chosen insert this time is a half sphere of yellow amber. Because each piece of amber is different, each coin will be unique, and with only 500 being struck, it will make a cool addition to a collection built around this fascinating subject. With other recent releases including the second Imperial Art coin, the high-end Ankh coin, Pobjoys take on the Sphinx, and the Mint of Berlin’s series, the market for Egyptian coins carries on unabated.
Very nicely packaged and quite reasonably priced at just 299 PLN (US$76, £50, €70), it’s a successful release in our view, the lack of inscription on the all-important reverse face raising the coin up above the norm. The obverse is standard Mint of Poland/Niue stuff. The coin is available now.
Scarabs were the most popular amulets in Ancient Egypt. They survive in large numbers and, through their inscriptions and typology, they are an important source of information for archeologists and historians of the ancient world. They also represent a significant body of ancient art.
For reasons that are not clear (although no doubt connected to the religious significance of the Egyptian god Khepri), amulets in the form of scarab beetles had become enormously popular in Ancient Egypt by the early Middle Kingdom (approx. 2000 BCE) and remained popular for the rest of the pharaonic period and beyond. During that long period the function of scarabs repeatedly changed. Primarily amulets, they were also inscribed for use as personal or administrative seals or were incorporated into jewelry. Some scarabs were apparently created for political or diplomatic purposes to commemorate or advertise royal achievements. By the early New Kingdom heart scarabs had become part of the battery of amulets protecting mummies. (Source: Wikipedia)