A gold coin joins the Czech Mints superb silver series celebrating Leonardo da Vinci’s 500th

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.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

The Czech Mint dedicated a free cycle of gold half-ounce coins to the world’s most important artists and thinkers. It introduced Leonardo da Vinci in 2019. His abilities seem superhuman to us, and his mysterious personality has fascinated us for 500 years since he died.

Leonardo da Vinci is considered to be an example of a Renaissance man – a truly universal genius. The extent of his knowledge is unparalleled in our history, however, he became famous as a painter and engineer. He was also a sculptor, an architect, a naturalist, a musician, a writer, a cartographer,… He enriched us with paintings and diaries full of various drawings, schemes, calculations, diagrams and ciphers. However, if we forget about his dehumanizing nickname genius, we find that he personified above all humanity with all its possibilities and shortcomings. His notes, in which he shared his thoughts with future generations, show his extraordinary creativity and diseased postponement of the tasks, the extraordinary contemplation, together with the children’s playfulness…

Asamat Baltaev, DiS. processed the reverse side of the coin inspired by a drawing that is widely regarded as a self-portrait created by Leonardo at the age of sixty. The obverse side then presents fragments of da Vinci’s masterpiece, headed by the concept of a colossal statue of a horse of the duke of Milan, under whose hooves the defeated enemy crouches. The coin was issued with the foreign license of the island of Niue, therefore, it bears the necessary attributes of this issuer. These are the name and the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, the nominal value of 25 DOLLARS and the year of the issue 2019.

Each coin includes a special illustrated certificate.

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SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $25 NZD (Niue)
COMPOSITION 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 15.56 grams
DIMENSIONS 28.0 mm
FINISH Proof
MODIFICATIONS None
MINTAGE 200
BOX / COA Yes / Yes