Art Mints impeccable Mandala series looks to the Islamic Moresque style for inspiration
The Art Mints impressive Mandala Art series of fine silver coins continues into its fourth year with what could be the finest issue yet. Beginning in 2015 with ‘Kalachakra’, subsequent years saw ‘Celtic’ and ‘Chinese’ themed designs joining the range. A Mandala is a radially balanced pattern around a central point that, in the case of this coin series at least, contains a definitive element. Originally Sanskrit in origin, it has become more widely adopted by other philosophies, like Buddhism.
While the first coin in the series was very traditionally designed for a Mandala, subsequent coins have taken other styles and transplanted them to the mandala concept. The 2018 issue is no exception and brings with it a level of sharply defined relief that exceeds previous efforts. A close look at the image above should tell you all you need to know regarding the quality on offer here and it stands able to compete with the very best of the competition.
The style this year is Moresque, a mix of Islamic and Christian Renaissance Europe architectural art forms. First appearing in 15th century Italy (particularly in Venice), the stylised flow of leaves and tendrils is attractive and very well implemented in the coin strike. The style continued into the 16th century Mannerist movements. The blue Swarovski crystal in the centre doesn’t look out of place for a change – they usually can be quite jarring and out of place, but not here.
The obverse by contrast is a standard affair, depicting the unmodified and unembellished emblem of Fiji, like the reverse face, with an antique finish. The coin has a mintage of 500 and a weight of three-ounces (93.3 grams). It comes supplied in a good quality box with a certificate of authenticity and sells for around the €400 mark. These are higher-end coins than most and the quality is of the highest order. All of the previous issues have sold out and even this one has already gone from the mint, but dealers will have them in stock now, including several of our sponsors. A beautiful piece of work and if you have the previous issues, we think you’ll definitely want this one.
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.”
|MODIFICATIONS||Swarovski crystal, rimless|
|BOX / COA||Yes / Yes|
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