Inventions of Leonardo four-coin programme concludes with the Renaissance legends prototype tank


One of our favourite series of 2019, the Czech Mints superb ‘Inventions of Leonardo’ four-coin series has featured some of the incredible contraptions that Leonardo da Vinci envisioned in the pursuit of war. Not a war-monger by any means, he was often pushed into the field by the political situations in this turbulent part of Italian history.

Designed by Asamat Baltaev, these 1oz proof silver coins are cleanly struck, and portray a mix of blueprint and potential reality for four weapons of war – all under his watchful gaze. To wrap up the set, his quite mad design for a wooden tank takes centre stage. It’s hard to imagine what it would have been like inside this thing, and it’s questionable if you were safer inside of it, or outside…

Selling for around €60, just 1,000 of these will be struck. A pretty neat tin is available for a nominal sum that will hold the four-coin collection, but these tend to sell out, so if you see one and want one, snap it up. You can buy direct from the mint, or our sponsors Minted-UK and Powercoin also keep them in stock. Superb, and a set we’ll wrap up in a profile soon.

Leonardo da Vinci designed a covered war car in 1482. He wrote in his diary at the time: “I can make armoured cars, safe and impregnable, which reach the front ranks of enemy troops. They would send death with their cannons and rifles. ” This car was supposed not only to break through the enemy lines, but also to protect its own soldiers. Exactly this tactic was used four centuries later – during the First World War, when the British deployed the first real tanks. Leonardo’s machine had the shape of a round tent – around the perimeter of the barrel and a small observation was placed on the top. The surface of the cloak was not perpendicular, but bevelled, and the armour should better deflect enemy missiles.

Although this project never left the drawing board, it counted a crew of eight men. They would fire from the guns and drive wheels connected to the transmission system by the crankshaft – independently of the left and right sides of the car. However, modern students found out that the transfers were poorly designed and the tank could never move with their help. However, historians agree that this mistake was made by a peaceful engineer deliberately to make it impossible to construct the invention if the plans fell into the wrong hands.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 31.1 grams
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes