One of the world’s most iconic buildings has been increasingly in the news in recent years and for all the wrong reasons. The stunning Parisian medieval cathedral, Notre Dame, caught fire in April 2019 and suffered damage so extensive it was believed it would not survive intact. Fortunately, through the quick and brave actions of the French emergency services, and the experts that knew the cathedral structure so well (it was under renovation at the time), catastrophe was averted and the rebuild began soon after. That continues to this day thanks to an incredible fundraising effort by people around the world.
We’ve seen some fine coins themed around the building in recent years, thanks to its increased profile, The Czech Mint, Numiscollect, and especially Art Mint and Mint XXI, have issued some superb numismatics, and now two of the best producers have combined to release another, Numiartis and Germania Mint. Fans of the Mint of Poland’s many ancient mythology coins will know what a difference fine design makes, so the employment of one of the best artists of them, Beata Kulesza Damaziak, is another huge bonus.
The basis for the reverse face is a popular three-quarter view of the cathedral from behind a line of trees, but instead of a sky in the background, we have a close up of the famous West Rose Window (soon to enjoy its 800th anniversary) and the surrounding facade. Text on this face is gilded, and the foliage is coloured, leaving the cathedrals antique finish as the main attraction. The obverse is fully antiqued, and takes the equally famous North Rose Window as its subject, complete with the sculpture ‘Pieta’, carved in the late 17th century by Nicolas Coustou.
Both faces of the coin are quite excellent. It takes a different, but complimentary approach to Notre Dame from the Art Mint and Mint XXI coins, and any admirer of this amazing building would be well served by having these three coins in their collection. However, this isn’t the first in a Notre Dame series, but the first in one called ‘Aeternitas’, named after the Ancient Roman goddess of eternity. It will be interesting to see what comes next with so broad a remit. This one comes boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity, and just 500 of these two-ounce coins will be struck. It’s provided in one of those excellent solid acrylic display frames we like so much here, complete with a custom insert. Great stuff, it’s available to pre-order now and should be shipping later this month.