Scottsdale mines the rich medieval heraldry of Italy for its latest bullion coin selection

Of all the major bullion coin producers, Scottsdale Mint stands apart for the sheer breadth of subjects it chooses for them, and the nations it issues them for. The Eastern Caribbean 8 is an excellent example, but they’ve released a plethora of designs for countries in Oceania, Africa and the Caribbean.

Their latest esoteric issue is based on an emblem used by an Italian city-state a millennium ago. The Biscione is a striking heraldic symbol that depicts an azure serpent, often said to be a viper of some form, consuming a human, usually a child. The symbol became associated with the Italian city of Milan when the Visconti family took control of it. It remains linked to the city today and is used by both the car maker Alfa Romeo, and the cities legendary football team, Inter Milan.

The coin sensibly features the snake eating a child symbol in isolation, not including any other elements that would tie it to a specific usage. That doesn’t mean it sits in isolation on the coin. The border is made up of patterned layers, one of which looks like the scales on the back of a dragon. It’s certainly a busy piece. Issued for Samoa, the obverse carries their shield emblem along with the usual issue and composition inscriptions.

Three versions are available at launch and all are a troy ounce in weight. The gold coin has a small mintage at just 500 pieces, while the key silver variant saunters in with 15,000. A nice looking piece is the antiqued version, which has a mintage capped at 2,000 pieces and seems to fit the theme well. There are to be some 1/2oz coins coming soon which we’re waiting for further information on. As we said at the beginning, nobody does such a wide range of bullion themes than Scottsdale, and a thousand year old Italian heraldic symbol is pretty much proof of that. It’s great to see such imagination in a market where the subject can often determine how successful a coin is. Available to order now.


This series embodies the history and design of Middle Age Milan. The historic image depicted on the 1 oz Silver, 1 oz Antique-Silver, and 1 oz Gold coin is the emblem of the illustrious Visconti of Milan, one of Italy’s most powerful families. The Visconti coat of arms features the ‘Biscione’ serpent swallowing a child. This symbol can be found today in select Milanese locations, and is also featured within the logo of Italian automobile maker Alfa Romeo.

DENOMINATION 2 Tala 2 Tala 20 Tala
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.999 silver 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 31.1 grams 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.6 mm 38.6 mm 32.0 mm
FINISH Bullion Antique Bullion
MINTAGE 15,000 2,000 500
BOX / C.O.A. No / No No / No No / No