Discovered on a beach at Uig, on the Isle of Lewis, in 1831, was a horde of late 12th/early 13th century chess pieces, carved from walrus tusk and sperm whale tooth, most likely in Trondheim, Norway. The horde of figures ranged from 60-100 mm in height, and there were 93 of them in total, from at least four chess sets. By any standards, a quite incredible find, and you can see why the mint found it an enticing subject.
This six coin set will feature a different piece on each one, with this debut launch consisting of the King, and the Queen. The Runner, Berserker, Bishop, and Knight, we don’t have images of yet. The pieces are hand-painted 3d inserts, likely from resin, and each one sits on a coin carrying an engraved and laser frosted depiction of a chess board, decorated with iconography of the period.
All six coins will sit on a themed display block. It’s a fine idea, but for a coin collector, not a particularly enticing one. The big issue is that every one of the six coins is identical, with just the figure changing each time. What’s the point? So much more could have been done with the silver coins themselves, but repetition is a lazy way out. If the subject appeals, and we can see no reason why it wouldn’t, you may find enough here to spark interest, but coin collectors will find little here to justify a €500+ expenditure.