While having a superficial similarity to the plethora of art-architectural coins on the market today, this new debut from Parisian coin producer the Art Mint, is actually something completely different. The first in a new series to be released one per year, Mandala Art ‘Kalachakra’ is a chunky 3 oz antique-finish coin, struck in high-relief and with a Swarovski crystal at it’s centre on the reverse side. The subject is a representation of a Mandala, in its most basic form a radially balanced pattern comprised of a square with a gate on each side, the whole containing a circle with a centre point. Meant to represent the universe, while the term is Sanskrit in origin, it is used by many religions and philosophies, especially Buddhism.
The coin is issued for the island state of Fiji and is limited to just 500 pieces. At 50mm in diameter and 5mm thick it looks an imposing piece. The Swarovski crystal actually enhances a design for a change, so often they can look out of place, but not here. The strike looks extremely intricate in detail with the clean edge carrying the coins serial number. Supplied in a box with a certificate of authenticity, the Mandala coin starts to ship at the end of July.
The Art Mint is now selling directly to the public and this is the first coin to be offered through it. Priced at €495, the mint is discounting the coin by €70 as an introductory offer until midnight on Sunday 14th June. As a further bonus, the Art Mint has kindly provided us with an exclusive code giving a further 5% off the discounted €430 price. Just enter the code AGAUNEWS at checkout and the price drops a further €21.50. A beautiful coin and potentially another Tiffany Art in the making. We look forward to seeing more images and will post them up when they arrive.
What is a Mandala?
The meaning of mandala comes from Sanskrit meaning “circle.” It appears in the Rig Veda as the name of the sections of the work, but is also used in many other civilizations, religions and philosophies. Even though it may be dominated by squares or triangles, a mandala has a concentric structure. Mandalas offer balancing visual elements, symbolizing unity and harmony. The meanings of individual mandalas is usually different and unique to each mandala.
The mandala pattern is used in many traditions. In the Americas, Indians have created medicine wheels and sand mandalas. The circular Aztec calendar was both a timekeeping device and a religious expression of ancient Aztecs. In Asia, the Taoist “yin-yang” symbol represents opposition as well as interdependence. Tibetan mandalas are often highly intricate illustrations of religious significance that are used for meditation. From Buddhist stupas to Muslim mosques and Christian cathedrals, the principle of a structure built around a center is a common theme in architecture.
In common use, mandala has become a generic term for any diagram, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a microcosm of the universe. Representing the universe itself, a mandala is both the microcosm and the macrocosm, and we are all part of its intricate design. The mandala is more than an image seen with our eyes; it is an actual moment in time. It can be can be used as a vehicle to explore art, science, religion and life itself.
Carl Jung said that a mandala symbolizes “a safe refuge of inner reconciliation and wholeness.” It is “a synthesis of distinctive elements in a unified scheme representing the basic nature of existence.”