The numismatic commemorations marking the half-millennium since Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci died, continue apace, with another new addition from the Czech Mint. This prolific mint produces some really fine designs and the four-coin silver series featuring Leonardo’s military engineering ideas is a beautiful example of them. That series is half way through with the third coin due to drop next month.
The Czech Mint also issues a healthy number of gold coins, particularly those with a historical theme. They rarely dabble with modifications to the basic strike, even colour isn’t common, so they have a special place in our heart for purity of design. This gold Leonardo coin is a great example. Based on a self-portrait, the reproduction is done in a style that seems to ape an oil painting done with a palette knife. There are some minor design details in the mix, but that fundamentally sums up the coin. Very much a classic, in our view.
Most of this mints issues are for Niue Island, so the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II has to be there somewhere on the obverse. Thankfully, there’s much more packed onto this face with some small excerpts of his work in art and engineering. Supplied boxed with a heavily themed certificate of authenticity, this half-ounce proof gold coin has a mintage of just 200 pieces. Selling for just shy of €900, it joins a Gustav Klimt coin in the Famous Artists series, and there’s an Edgar Allen Poe coin joining it later this year.