Czech Mint’s celebration of Leonardo’s engineering talents continues with the machine gun


The Asamat Baltaev penned series of proof silver coins celebrating the engineering genius of Leonardo da Vinci now sees the third of the four coins making its debut. You can read more about the series in our original article, but we only had a pencil drawing of this coin back then. Fortunately, that has now changed and the final coin doesn’t disappoint.

The machine gun is the contraption chosen to be showcased, and while not the sort of thing Al Capone would be shooting up bars with, I certainly wouldn’t want to be in front of this when it went off. To be honest, it probably wasn’t that safe behind it either. Lovely coins, we’ve seen the first two in hand and they’re great designs, especially for around €62.00 each. A neat and very cheap tin is available to hold all four coins, but they do come in their own individual box as well, should you just want a single coin. Just 1,000 of each coin is being struck and they’re available from the mint, or from sponsors like Minted-UK or Powercoin. The tank is the last coin and it will be available in September.

Leonardo da Vinci loved life and considered fighting the worst human activity. Yet he has written numerous designs of sophisticated war machines that provided him favour of powerful patrons and sponsors. While cold weapons supported by bows and crossbows ruled the battlefields in the Middle Ages, firearms began to spread in the Renaissance and changed the warfare. Although their power was devastating, they suffered from a number of shortcomings. Probably the biggest was the low rate of fire caused by complicated charging, which took several minutes. Leonardo solved this problem with elegance – placing a number of the main ones in one bundle, thus solving the issue of fast charging and the necessary cooling. Thus the first machine gun appeared.

Leonardo did not stay with one proposal and invented a number of variants of his rapid-fire weapon. The most sophisticated one was supposed to consist of three main rotating rows – while the first row was firing, the second row was cooling and the third was charging. If such a weapon was used against the advancing infantry, its effect would be devastating. Fortunately, Leonardo is known as a man who did everything, but rarely finished anything. He did not finish most of his war machines. But perhaps his pacifism might have been more than his inattention. Indeed, when researchers designed his war machines at the end of the 20th century, it turned out to be terrifyingly functional …

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 31.1 grams
BOX / COA Yes / Yes