One of our favourite producers issuing coins today, Precious Metal Collectors, has been on a bit of a mission over the last couple of months, releasing quite a packed programme of new coins. The subjects vary quite a bit, but at their core, Chinese mythology and fine art, are the most common themes. To aid us in getting on top of the plethora of issues in our backlog, we’re going to look at the fine art issues using PMC’s own, excellent videos of them.
For those unaware, or new here, most of these use PMC’s innovative ‘Bi-Metal Max’ technique. This involves cladding a copper core of relatively substantial weight, with fine silver. The end result looks exactly like a pure silver coin, but far larger, and with a much more wallet-friendly price. As examples, the Fine Art Crossover issue is described as a 1 oz silver coin, yet is 90 x 70 mm in size, and thick. It’s because that 1 oz of silver is cladding 14 oz of copper. Likewise, the Van Gogh Masterpieces wraps its 5 oz of silver over a staggering 38 oz of copper, and reaches a huge 120 mm in diameter.
The releases showcased here fall into two categories. Some, such as Mona Lisa, Great Wave off Kanagawa, and Almond Blossom, are essentially the original work, or a crop of it, reproduced with some texture, and a frame, often designed to replicate the type you would find in a museum. The traditionalist will surely be more drawn to these. The other, however, is filled with unique creations, inspired by the original works, and some are very inventive. Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ seems to be a particular favourite, with the work being used as a backdrop to famous events or locations, with Over the Rhone looking particularly well done. The new Fine Art Crossover is especially clever, choosing to combine the works of two masters to create a single scene – quite an amusing one.
The really unique coin is ‘Vincent van Gogh’s Masterpieces’. This features a terrific scene of the painter at work, with a coloured painting on an easel. Rotating the coin, using the edge, lets you change that painting to one of four of his masterpieces. Yes, it’s a bit gimmicky, but there’s nothing tacky about it, and it stays totally focused on the art. Not for everyone, of course, but something quite different. Quite the mix, and all quite capable of standing on a shelf for display.