Bocca Della Verita, the ‘Mouth of Truth’ is reproduced in a kilo of silver by De Greef and AllCollect

AllCollect have employed some of Europe’s finest medal makers for its various high-relief coins, including some quite fantastic larger issues. Chief amongst them is Mauquoy, and the Belgian company, De Greef. It is the latter designer that have been entrusted with AllCollect’s latest beast, the one kilogram ‘Mouth of Truth’, and after the stunning Bald Eagle pair they did a couple of years ago, we have high expectations of this one.

This near two-millennia old, 1300 kg piece of carved stone that is the Bocca Dello Veritas, now resides in Rome and has made a bit of a name for itself as a tourist attraction. Importantly, it lends itself exceptionally well to the numismatic treatment, and De Greef have done a near perfect job with it. The reproduction looks first-class, down to the crack running through the original, and enhanced by some subtle ‘marble-style’ colouration over the antique-finish.

The high-relief is just enough to bring the original to life without jumping into caricature territory and the attractive coat of arms of Benin on the obverse will look good on this 100 mm diameter coin. Packaging will be lush, as you would expect from All Collect and the 99 mintage will go some way to justifying the circa €2800 pricetag. Available to order now.

Apologies for the prior version of this post. I spent ages writing it, but it appears Firefox had a brainfart and none of it was saved, so this is a quick rewrite from scratch.


The Mouth of Truth (Italian: Bocca della Verità) is a marble mask in Rome, Italy, which stands against the left wall of the portico of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church, at the Piazza della Bocca della Verità, the site of the ancient Forum Boarium (the ancient cattle market). It attracts visitors who audaciously stick their hand in the mouth.

The massive marble mask weighs about 1300 kg and probably depicts the face of the sea titan god Oceanus. The eyes, nostrils and mouth are open. Historians aren’t quite certain what the original purpose of the disc was. It was possibly used as a drain cover in the nearby Temple of Hercules Victor, which had an oculus—a round open space in the middle of the roof, similar to that of the Pantheon. Hence, it could rain inside. It is also thought that cattle merchants used it to drain the blood of cattle sacrificed to the god Hercules. In the thirteenth century the disc was probably removed from the temple and placed against the wall of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin. In the seventeenth century it eventually moved to its current location inside the portico of the church.(WIKIPEDIA)

DENOMINATION 10,000 Francs CFA (Benin)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 1000 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief, Marble finish
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “BOCCA DELLA VERITA“, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0