One thing that has characterised the modern collectable coin market has been the increased use of technology to enhance just what can be done. In most cases, that has led to levels of design and relief which were quite unthinkable on a mass scale just a decade or so ago. Likewise, there’s been a greatly increased willingness to push the market past the simple metal disc, to encompass a whole host of adornments. Some are polarising, with collectors often preferring to stick with an unmodified, cleanly struck metal disc, but an increasing part of the market, and probably one of the reasons the hobby has maintained a good level of popularity in an increasingly coin-less world, is experimentation by mints.
Now, Art Mint have always produced coins of a very high quality, such as the beautiful Mandala Art series, and the recent Carpe Diem coin, but their latest issue is something quite different. The rise of techniques like smartminting means that wide diameters are no longer out of the ordinary, but even so, this half-ounce silver coin stretching out to an impressive 78.0 mm is quite something. It manages that by eschewing an obverse, that giving way to a Compact Disc.
The reverse face looks like a traditional silver coin, carrying an image of the composer Vivaldi holding a violin, surrounded by some Baroque-style tracery. Also on this face are all the inscriptions that would normally sit on the obverse, but Art Mint have kept them well placed and unobtrusive. As you may have guessed from this design, the music on the fully playable CD obverse is by this remarkable composer – the outstanding ‘Four Seasons’. A breathtaking piece of music, even non-fans of classical music will recognise it from many movies, including the powerful death scene in the 1973 Charlton Heston sci-fi movie, Soylent Green.
Presentation is fittingly reminiscent of a CD and the whole thing is a highly original melding of minting technology with a functional digital item. It isn’t a release for everyone, of course, and that’s reflected in the 700 mintage, but this industry is all the better for producers pushing out in new and unique ways, and we should all appreciate that. Available to order now, it should ship in November.