A journey through mankind’s fascination with dragons continues with the fifth coin in a series by Numiartis

Of all the legendary creatures of mythology, the dragon is the one that has inserted itself into the cultures of so many ancient civilisations around the world with ruthless efficiency. Why that is has been a question for the ages. Fossils, such as dinosaur bones, especially skulls, the teeth of giant predatory fish, like Megalodon, and other traces left in the ground, no doubt fired the imagination of ancient minds. The concept of millions of years of evolution was unknown, and with the influence of religion and mythology rampant, it was easy to believe these giant beasts were recently vanquished, and the mighty gods the reason. It all fed upon itself.

Today, we know the dragon is a myth, whose depiction is representative of the culture, the arts and stories of the civilisation that birthed them. The dragons of Mesoamerica in the 12th century are different from those of Ancient China. Those of Northern Europe different from those of Southern Asia. Of course, that leaves a coin producer with a veritable gold mine of iconography for a series.

The coin just released that we’re looking at here is the fifth in a series that has meandered around the world’s cultures looking at the huge variety of dragons dreamt up by them. The series started in China, passing through Scandinavian, Mesoamerica, and Japan, before settling here, in Greece. The distinction between them is striking, even as the fundamental nature of them is so similar.

Killed by Heracles with a bow and arrow, Ladon wax the serpentine dragon that guarded the golden apples on the tree in the Garden of the Hesperides. Depicted on the coin in multi-headed form, this is a dragon in its most carnal incarnation. There’s little in the way of elegant symbolism, like those created by Eastern cultures, but a full-on beast of terror, created to fulfil a purpose, and single minded in its pursuit of it. It’s a beautiful piece of coin art, replete with great touches everywhere. The amber orbs represent the golden apples, and the dragons are intertwined with the branches of the tree. Superb.

The common obverse returns with its dragon silhouettes over a scaley background scattered around the border. There are ten of them, although only five unique depictions, with each appearing in positive and negative form. This two-ounce coin will come boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity, and is available to order now, with shipping later in July. A terrific addition to one of the best mythology series in production today, and one Numiartis have made some excellent images available for, so enjoy them below.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief, Amber insert
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes