The Italian Mint IPZS (Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca Dello Stato) have a reputation for producing some fine silver coin designs looking at the ancient and medieval culture of Italy. A nation replete with art and culture, Italy has a huge wellspring to drink from and the mints Italia delle Arte (Art of Italy) series is at the forefront of exploiting it.
Appearing for the first time back in 2010, the series was a natural progression from the mints Art of Europe range. Two coins are released annually, an 18g €5 coin and a 22g €10 one. Both are struck in sterling (0.925) silver and this new pair are the 13th and 14th coins to be released.
The bigger of the pair this year features a look at the ancient artistic history of the island of Sardinia. The Nuragic civilisation was settled on Sardinia from the 18th century BC until the 2nd century AD. They’re named for the Nuraghes, tower fortresses that dot the Sardinian landscape even today, where some 7,000 remain to varying degrees of preservation. They are known for some fine bronze statues of which well known examples have been chosen for representation on the coin faces. Geometric patterns from Nuragic artifacts decorate the backgrounds. A very cool coin by designer Maria Angela Cassol, we’d like to see in hand. It will sell for €60.00.
The smaller €5 coin leaps forward to the middle ages for its inspiration, here the town of Recanati. Located in the province of Macerata in the Marche region of Italy, it was formed from three castles around 1150 AD. In 1290 it declared itself an independent republic. It was conquered by none other than Napoleon Bonaparte in March 1798. In 1860 it was annexed by the fledgling Kingdom of Italy. The coin, designed by Ettore Lorenzo Frapiccini, depicts the 13th century church of Sant’Agostino on one side, in front of which is the local coat of arms featuring lions rampant. The other side depicts pieces of the work The Annunciation by Lorenzo Lotto. Lotto spent the years 1506-1508 in the town, although this painting wasn’t likely executed until much later around 1534. Also limited to 4,000 pieces, this coin is a little lighter at 18g in weight and cost $10 less at $50.00.
Both coins are boxed and with Certificates of Authenticity. Previous coins we’ve covered include Perugia, Fenis Castle and Selinunte.