We’ve seen just a few Beethoven coins this year. It is the great composers 250th birthday in 2020 and we expected to see quite a few more, but at least it isn’t the sad situation we had in 2014 when the Roman Emperor Augustus, one of the most influential figures in history, marked 2,000 years since his death and was widely ignored in numismatic circles. In my time with AgAuNEWS, it remains the biggest disappointment.
Even if there are no more Beethoven coins this year, we at least have a worthy commemoration of this exceptional talent, with Art Mint’s latest release. As you’d expect from this Paris-based producer, they’ve imbued the coin with something a little different. Beethoven’s visage is well known and accurate because in 1812, he allowed Austrian sculptor Franz Klein to make a life mask of his face, to use in making sculptures. What better way to mark the mans birth than to show us what he was in life.
Italian artist Sandra Deiana has done an outstanding job reproducing the life mask for the coin and you can see the plaster sculpts further down. This is no interpretation of the man, but a look at the face of a musical genius whose legacy is as bright today as it’s ever been. Even an East London caveman like me can appreciate Beethoven’s contribution to human culture. The face is surrounded by the musical notation he wrote as fluently as we would write a shopping list.
The obverse is a simple one, carrying his signature, under which are the dates of his life and death. A small diamond sits in the middle. Issued for Cameroon, all the relevant details are inscribed on this face, as they should be in our opinion, keeping the main face free of distraction. All told, a fitting tribute to a widely admired individual. If you’re an afficionado of the genre, look no further. Available to order now, only 250 pieces will be minted.