APMEX launches the second of its Seven Wonders bullion rounds – the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

We don’t cover many rounds here as it’s hard enough keeping up with the coins, but we do dabble when we feel it’s relevant, and we think that applies to this very nice series from US dealer APMEX. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World are no stranger to coins, and for good reason. We’re sure you know what they are by now – one of them, the Great Pyramid at Giza, is still standing – so let’s move on.

This is a very limited series with just 77 pieces of the one ounce gold version, and 7,777 pieces of the one ounce silver, and it has a very coin-like feel to it. The first issue shone a spotlight on the giant Colossus of Rhodes, and this second one, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the only one of the seven for which no concrete evidence of its actual existence remains.

Because of that, there’s going to be much speculation on its appearance, but the depiction here is a popular one, having at least some basis in possibility. It’s very well done, giving off a sense of serenity, and of the architectural style of the region and the period. The obverse is what lifts this series in our view. A portrait of a leader, along with a faux denomination does give it that coin-like feel. In this case, it’s King Hammurabi, famous even today for his Code of Hammurabi, the first to focus on punishment of the perpetrators of crime, rather than on just compensating the victim. Much of it survives today, although without the various chopping off of body parts…

The gold round comes in a themed tin with a Certificate of Authenticity, while the silver variant is simply encapsulated. However, the same style of tin can be purchased seperately for under $5 USD if you wish to give a home to the silver. Both versions are available to order now, with a quick sell-out on the gold likely with a mintage that low. A nice attractive round with a very tight mintage and a set series size. Ticks a lot of boxes.

Au REVERSEAu REVERSE
Ag REVERSEAg REVERSE

THE HANGING GARDENS OF BABYLON

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were described as a remarkable feat of engineering with an ascending series of tiered gardens containing a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and vines, resembling a large green mountain constructed of mud bricks, and said to have been built in the ancient city of Babylon, near present-day Hillah, Babil province, in Iraq.

According to one legend, the Neo-Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II, who ruled between 605 and 562 BC, built the Hanging Gardens, alongside a grand palace that came to be known as The Marvel of Mankind, for his Median wife, Queen Amytis, because she missed the green hills and valleys of her homeland; this is attested to by the Babylonian priest Berossus, writing in about 290 BC, and quoted later by Josephus.

The Hanging Gardens are the only one of the Seven Wonders for which the location has not been definitively established. There are no extant Babylonian texts which mention the gardens, and no definitive archaeological evidence has been found in Babylon. Three theories have been suggested to account for this. One: that they were purely mythical, and the descriptions found in ancient Greek and Roman writers including Strabo, Diodorus Siculus and Quintus Curtius Rufus represent a romantic ideal of an eastern garden. Two: that they existed in Babylon, but were completely destroyed sometime around the first century AD. Three: that the legend refers to a well-documented garden that the Assyrian King Sennacherib (704–681 BC) built in his capital city of Nineveh on the River Tigris, near the modern city of Mosul.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION None None
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.999 gold
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 39.0 mm 34.0 mm
FINISH Proof Brilliant uncirculated
MODIFICATIONS None None
MINTAGE 7,777 77
BOX / C.O.A. No /No Yes / Yes