Creatures of Greek Mythology, the New Zealand Mints off-centre look at the world of ancient gods that has captured the coin collectors imagination of late, continues its rapid release run with the fifth launch in just nine months. Several other series from the mint have experienced condensed launch cycles, a relatively new approach with positives and negatives, but it must work for them. From Cerberus, through the Centaur, Minotaur, and Gorgon, we now alight on the Cyclops, the one-eyed giant.
With ancient gods being the chosen subject of most coins in this genre, the Auckland-based mint chose to focus this series on the supporting cast, the menagerie of creatures brought to life by the fertile imaginations and fears of ancient writers and poets. Eschewing the antique finish so prevalent amongst these coins, and going with a more classical style of art than the more modernist approach taken by some others, Creatures of Greek Mythology is certainly a little different. The artwork on this new Cyclopes coin again depicts a classic scene, the blinding of Polyphemus by the hero Odysseus and his men. Unspoilt by intrusive inscriptions, it works well. The obverse is the usual Niue effort, the Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.
Looking like an ancient Greek money pouch, The faux suede bag presentation is certainly different, opening up to form a flat disc upon which is printed the Certificate of Authenticity, with a small slit pouch to hold the coin. We like it – it adds to the character of the package. As before the coin is $80.00 USD from the NZ Mint webstore and from dealers worldwide.