One of the best of the art-architecture coins released last year was an unexpected one fom the Mint of Poland featuring something we’re surprised hasn’t come up before, the ancient world. Depicting one of the early powerhouse civilisations from the Middle East, Imperial Art: Mesopotamia was the first in a new annual series looking at the quite extraordinary structures and symbols of the ancient world. Widely liked, it was a no-brainer to expect a new entry into the series this year.

A perennial favourite in the coin world of late has been that most impressive of early civilisations, Ancient Egypt. We’ve already seen a highly impressive new premium coin from Numiartis called Egyptian Symbols: Ankh which is the debut release in a new series, and now the Mint of Poland have launched Imperial Art: Egypt. Like the previous release, and many others in the genre, it’s a 2 oz silver coin with an antique finish, struck in high-relief and with an inset window of a mineral.

The mineral used this time around is citrine, a yellow to orange-yellow coloured variant of quartz (can be brownish-red if produced by artificial heat treatment) and after Amethyst, the most popular quartz colour for gemstones. There’s no particular significance to citrine in Ancient Egyptian culture, but here it’s meant to represent the sun and sand so strongly associated with the society in modern minds.

The reverse face depicts a Sphinx, one of over 600 that flanked a long boulevard leading to the Serapeum of Saqqara. Also depicted is the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Khonsu Temple at Karnak, and surrounding the citrine insert, Osiris statues from the Temple of Hatshepsut, the Eighteenth Dynasty pharoah who was the longest serving woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty. The obverse depicts a scene from the interior of the magnificent Temple of Isis at Philae, from which an important obelisk used to help decipher the hieroglyphic language still resides in Dorset, England. A small effigy of the ultra-famous and increasingly controversial bust of Nefertiti resides to the right of the citrine, as does a bigger depiction of a more modern queen, Queen Elizabeth II, in light of the coin being issued by the Commonwealth island of Niue.

Only 500 of these superb coins will be struck, each numbered on the rim and presented in a good quality wooden box inside a coloured shipper. The second of eight coins in what is shaping up to be a top-class series, the next entrant heads off to China we believe. Available from limited dealers like First Coin Company and Super Coins (thanks to both for help with the images), Coin Shoppe and PowerCoin, amongst others, so wherever you are, you can pick one up. It should ship in the second half of October. Take a look at the video to see the fine job the mint has done with this one.


Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. It is one of six civilizations globally to arise independently. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC (according to conventional Egyptian chronology) with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh. The history of ancient Egypt occurred in a series of stable Kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power during the New Kingdom, in the Ramesside period where it rivalled the Hittite Empire, Assyrian Empire and Mitanni Empire, after which it entered a period of slow decline. Egypt was invaded or conquered by a succession of foreign powers, such as the Canaanites/Hyksos, Libyans, the Nubians, the Assyrians, Babylonians, the Achaemenid Persians, and the Macedonians in the Third Intermediate Period and the Late Period of Egypt. In the aftermath of Alexander the Great’s death, one of his generals, Ptolemy Soter, established himself as the new ruler of Egypt. This Greek Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt until 30 BC, when, under Cleopatra, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province.

The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came partly from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense population, and social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, and a military intended to defeat foreign enemies and assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, and administrators under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs.

The many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the quarrying, surveying and construction techniques that supported the building of monumental pyramids, temples, and obelisks; a system of mathematics, a practical and effective system of medicine, irrigation systems and agricultural production techniques, the first known ships, Egyptian faience and glass technology, new forms of literature, and the earliest known peace treaty, made with the Hittites.  (Source: Wikipedia)




$2 NEW ZEALAND 0.999 SILVER 62.2 g 50.00 mm ANTIQUE 500 YES / YES