It was just a year ago that the fledgling Germania Mint issued its first bullion round and they did so with a design neatly competing with the genre filled with designs showcasing national personifications. For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s comprised of a human figure, often female, that represents the core national identity of a specific country.
There are many examples, most of which have appeared in the numismatic world in one form or another, often in huge quantities. Obvious examples are the American Walking Liberty, the British Britannia, and the French Marianne. There are plenty of other examples and they form a core part of the modern coin market, combining classic coin imagery, often based on millennia old originals, and modern interpretations of national identity.
What the Germania Mint has done is take that concept and apply it to a long dead province of the ancient world – Germania. Last years design was good, but this years one is better, in our view. The famous bicephalous eagle that so captivated the Roman Empire is back in a more realistic form, with the lady Germania holding out her hand for the mythical bird to alight upon it. It’s a more free flowing design than the more formal original and all the better for it.
Our favourite part of last years issue was the beautiful obverse face with its stylised two-headed eagle, and we’re pleased to see the mint has even improved detail and definition here as well. Especially for this genre, we like this design better than anything else out there at the moment (sorry Liz!). So all told, this design, chosen by collectors in an online poll the mint ran earlier this year, can be considered a big success.
There are three bullion variants on offer. The usual 1oz weights in gold or silver (both 0.9999 fineness), but also a glorious one-kilo silver version with a tiny 100 mintage. I’d pick one of those up in a heartbeat given a chance. As well as the bullion finish, there are proof 1oz versions of both metals. The headliner will be the 1oz silver bullion finish, of course, and the 25,000 mintage will keep things nice and collectable. Now these are not shipping until next February, but we’ll take another look when we get actual coin images, and we’ll revisit the Germania Mint later this week. They’re turning out some beautiful issues at the moment, and while Germania might not exist today as an actual political entity, the decision to base an issue programme around a concept like this is looking to be an inspired decision.