Mint of Poland’s outstanding ancient mythology range kicks off 2020 with Gods of Anger II: Horus

Ten days into 2020 and we have the first Mint of Poland high-relief coin themed around the ancient world to enjoy. This first issue is actually the second in the Gods of Anger series and follows the launch of Anubis in 2019. Sticking with the Egyptian theme, we have the falcon headed god, Horus, a deity that represented the sky and the Sun.

I’m sure that regular readers will know the drill by now. This is a 2oz, rimless, fine silver, ultra high relief, antique-finished, and embellished (in this case with some subtle gilding) coin. If all that sounds like a format becoming a little overly familiar and unexciting, nothing could be further from the truth. The kicker with these coins is some quite stunning designs. I’d have no qualms arguing these are pure art and if you’re looking at these in terms of the spot price, you’re way off point. That’s what bullion is for and there’s a ton of choice there now – more than ever, in fact.

Egyptian mythology is one of the richest in visual terms. Not just human, these are amalgamations of the human and animal world, loved by a civilisation that understood the place of the natural world in its own far better than we do today, if not in a scientific sense, but certainly in terms of respect. Horus is one of the most striking of all, with his falcon head and feet, a deity that would have evoked awe in the people of the time. Horus worship started around 8,000 years ago, so it’s quite amazing that it still has so much appeal today.

The coin is beautiful, in our eyes, a fantastic mix of bird and man unmatched (although Sesame Street got close…). It’s dynamic, fits the coin face perfectly, and has a cool city background to represent its subjects. A small amount of gilding to the spear head draws the eye in towards the face of Horus. The obverse should match that of the Anubis coin, as we’ve yet to get an image of that. It was neat, and surrounded the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II with some Egyptian hieroglyphics in a border.

Presented in a box with a Certificate of Authenticity, there will be 500 of these struck and it should ship from around the end of February. The distributor is Pela Coins, although you should be able to buy this at plenty of dealers worldwide. Check out the Where to Buy page for examples. A fine start to the year for this theme. If 2020 can maintain the standard of 2019, collectors will be more than happy I should think. Check out other releases in our Thematic Guide to the range.

HORUS

Horus is the name of a sky god in ancient Egyptian mythology which designates primarily two deities: Horus the Elder (or Horus the Great), the last born of the first five original gods, and Horus the Younger, the son of Osiris and Isis. According to the historian Jimmy Dunn, “Horus is the most important of the avian deities” who takes on so many forms and is depicted so differently in various inscriptions that “it is nearly impossible to distinguish the ‘true’ Horus. Horus is mostly a general term for a great number of falcon deities”. While this is certainly true, the name ‘Horus’ will usually be found to designate either the older god of the first five or the son of Isis and Osiris who defeated his uncle Set and restored order to the land.

The name Horus is the Latin version of the Egyptian Hor which means “the Distant One”, a reference to his role as a sky god. The elder Horus, brother of Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nephthys, is known as Horus the Great in English or Harwer and Haroeris in Egyptian. The son of Osiris and Isis is known as Horus the Child (Hor pa khered) who was transformed into the Greek god Harpocrates after Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 331 BCE. ‘Harpocrates’ also means ‘Horus the Child’ but the deity differed from the Egyptian Horus. Harpocrates was the Greek god of silence and confidentiality, the keeper of secrets, whose statuary regularly depicts him as a winged child with his finger to his lips.

Horus the Younger, on the other hand, was a powerful sky god associated with the sun, primarily, but also the moon. He was the protector of the royalty of Egypt, avenger of wrongs, defender of order, uniter of the two lands and, based on his battles with Set, a god of war regularly invoked by Egyptian rulers before battle and praised afterwards. In time, he became combined with the sun god Ra to form a new deity, Ra-Harahkhte, god of the sun who sailed across the sky during the day and was depicted as a falcon-headed man wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt with the sun disk on it. His symbols are the Eye of Horus (one of the most famous Egyptian symbols) and the falcon.

Mark, J. J. (2016, March 16). Horus. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Horus/

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SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $5 New Zealand (Niue)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
DIMENSIONS 45.0 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, gilding
MINTAGE 500
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
MINT OF POLAND