Easily one of the most famous works of art in the world, The Great Wave Off Kanagawa by Japanese woodcut artist, Hokusai, has become an icon, not just of the art world, but of modern culture in general. It’s of little surprise that the work has found its way into the numismatic world, with Scottsdale Mint putting it on a bullion coin, and World Coin Appreciation issuing a highly affordable gilded copper coin. Nothing approaches the latest in Singaporean producer, Precious Metal Collectors, ‘Bi-Metal Max’ art range, however.
For those not familiar, Bi-Metal Max coins consist of a large (in this case 33.5 ounces) copper core, around which is a skin of fine silver, usually two-ounces. The end result is a comparatively affordable coin, with relatively huge dimensions. We think it works particularly well for artwork, where the enlarged canvas allows more of the subtle nuances of the original painting to be reproduced. While PMC have issued rectangular coins in this format and series, with Lady Godiva springing to mind, they’ve chosen to crop Hokusai’s work into a square, managing to keep all the main elements in place.
The obverse is in PMC’s newer style, aping the look of a banknote, but fully themed to the subject. We were less than keen originally, especially in gilded form, but we have warmed to it. There are two finishes again, one with an antique finish, the other gilded on both sides. They’re otherwise identical, so which you prefer is purely a matter of taste. Both are quite beautiful, with the high-relief frame working well. Each is nicely boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity, and available to order now.