The New Zealand Mints Forgotten Cities series first launched in November 2014 and here we are looking at the fifth and final coin to be released. Each coin takes one of the ancient worlds most (ironically) well-known cities and depicts it in a bas-relief style, in our view to great success. The first coin showed Machu Picchu, followed by the ancient city of Petra, the ruined city of Angkor in Cambodia and lastly, the doomed town of Pompeii in Italy.

What we like so much about these coins is the art style which is quite different to pretty much everything else out there. Taking detail from out of an image to an almost block-style of representation has seemed to work very well, and succeeds in distilling down the essence of the site to it’s most recognisable elements. We know that these look much nicer in reality than in the images. We may have one here and will photograph it for the Coin Series Profile we’ll put up shortly now that the series has come to an end, sadly.

Packaging is inventive, although the latitude and longitude of the next coin will be missing as there isn’t going to be one. The book style has become increasingly popular with the mint, used on such series as Disney Princesses, and the Great Writers coin where it debuted unsurprisingly enough. They also make storage very easy compared to something like the Star Trek coins from a nearby mint that were simply too numerous and bulky to be practical.

It’s a shame the series is ending. Such magnificent sites as the old Roman city of Leptis Magna in Libya, or anything from Egypt for example, would have made fine coins, but it’s not to be. Like previous coins, this will sell from the NZ Mint website for $85.00 US, but you’re usual dealer will have it.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

The ruins of the forgotten city of Babylon are located less than 100 km (60 miles) southwest of modern-day Baghdad.

The eventful known history of Babylon begins in the era of the influential and visionary King Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC), who transformed a small city into undoubtedly the most powerful and influential in all of Mesopotamia.

Famous for its opulent buildings, canals and the incredible “Hanging Gardens”, Babylon also boasted a reputation of being a centre of learning and culture as well as being the original source for a code of law, pre-dating the Mosaic Law.

The long history of decline began in 539 BC when the empire fell to the Persians in a clever scheme, which saw the Euphrates River being diverted, allowing the Persian Army enter the city.

Babylon later succumbed to the power of Alexander the Great (331 BC), and to the Parthian Empire (141 BC) after which, it became deserted and forgotten. The city steadily fell into ruin and whatever remained, became buried in sand, until the 19th century when German archaeologist Robert Koldewey uncovered the ruins of the once great city of the “Gate of the Gods”.

Fact                    

It is believed that Pythagoras developed his famous mathematical theorem based upon a Babylonian model.

MACHU PICCHU

PETRA, JORDAN

ANGKOR WAT

POMPEII

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2 NEW ZEALAND 0.999 SILVER 31.1 g 40.0 mm PROOF 2,000 YES / YES
NEW ZEALAND MINT