Beer – the most amazing invention in human history (probably…) – is celebrated on Numiscollect’s latest silver coin

The Babylonian Code of Hammurabi is old, dating from around 1750 BC, and is one of the oldest, and most important legal texts in existence. So, what’s that got to do with beer? Within its many rules and regulations are laws covering the production and selling of beer. If you were given an undersize ‘pint’ by a barman, he would be put to death by drowning, for example. Seems a bit harsh, especially if he’d had a few himself, but it shows just how significant the old ‘Amber Nectar’ really was. Everyone in Babylon got a daily allowance, with priests getting five litres a day, and there are recipes for at least twenty different types. Nobody knows if there were similar laws about the end-of-session Doner Kebab, or getting caught drunk in charge of a donkey, but it’s food for thought.

The drink actually dates back to at least 3400 BC, and was a popular offering in Ancient Egypt and Sumeria, as well. It possibly explains why the pyramids weren’t rectangular… Beer remained a part of everyday life right up until today, where it remains the most popular drink in the world after water and tea. It’s produced by the brewing and fermentation of starches, mainly hops and malted grains, along with yeast. Weirdly, if you distil beer right down, you end up with a form of whisky.

As part of Numiscollect’s winter releases, they’ve debuted the first in a new series titled ‘Food & Drink’. As you’ve no doubt already guessed (unless you’ve had a few pints yourself!), beer is the subject of the first issue. It’s a simple, yet effective design, with a top-down view of a glass of beer, complete with the last of the head fizzling out. We like the way the bubble highlights are made more prominent by letting the underlying proof finish show through, and the edge of the coin aping the rim of the glass, As we said, a simple design, but there’s no confusing what it is.

This is a one-ounce 0.999 silver coin, issued for Cameroon, and with a pretty big 45 mm diameter. It will come boxed, with a Certificate of Authenticity, and has a mintage of 999 pieces. It should be available to order now, for somewhere between 20 and 30 pints… Cheers.

DENOMINATION 1,000 Francs CFA (Cameroon)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes