We all know the story of Notre Dame de Paris, thrust so tragically into the popular conciousness last year with a fire that almost destroyed the centuries old cathedral, and there have been a few beautiful coins issued celebrating the French icon over the last couple of years. Now the Czech Mint is adding its own to the mix and has chosen a four coin set in either half-ounce silver, or quarter ounce gold, both struck to a proof finish.
Each of the four designs by artist Petra Brodska looks at a different aspect of the buildings long history and cleverly mixes a foreground subject with a background close-up of part of the cathedrals structure. The first coin depicts an overview of the building looking from the rear, the second one of the many huge bells that occupy Notre Dames towers. The other pair of coins choose some of the French legends that have had association with the building in the past. Joan of Arc was beatified in the cathedral in 1909 – a potent symbol in French history – and Nopeon Bonaparte was crowned inside Notre Dame in 1804.
The common obverse carries an image of some of the structures internal Gothic arches, inside one of which sits the rarely used national emblem of Niue. It’s usually the case that Niue issues employ the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, but given Joan of Arc and Napoleon didn’t fare too well with the British, it’s probably for the best that she’s missing…
The Czech Mint does sets like these very well, and they universally have a high quality strike and some great artistic touches. The superb Leonardo Da Vinci set was a 2019 favourite of ours. Both the gold and silver sets have low mintages, and sell for €1977 and €185 Euro respectively. A very nice set for lovers of the beautiful building currently subject to the biggest renovation in its entire history.