Italian renaissance writer, Dante Alighieri, is celebrated in gilded silver 700 years after his death

Considered by many to be one of the finest and most influential literary works in history, The Divine Comedy by Italian writer Dante Alighieri needs little introduction. It’s inspired a few coin issues of late, especially a stunning pair from Mint XXI, but with the man’s death hitting the 700th anniversary mark, he rightly deserves even wider acknowledgment. This new coin from a Germany-based producer is a fine-looking effort.

We’ve been fortunate to see this producer’s earlier issue in hand, which was a homage to the ancient Greek ‘Pegasus’ coin, and this new Dante release is done in the same format, and in a similar style. As such, we’ve got a good idea what this one will look like in hand. The design is really nice, choosing a variation on the classic Dante portrait, based somewhat on the famous painting by Sandro Botticelli in 1495, but by no means a slavish copy.

This isn’t a huge coin, struck in half ounce of fine silver, gilded, and antiqued. There’s plenty of high relief, especially on the reverse face and the feathered obverse also has plenty of its own, impressive for the weight of metal. It’s all struck with an unbound edge, aping that of old coin strikes. All told, an attractive piece. Packaging comprises a small box, much like those the Austrian Mint uses, with a BH Mayer-style certificate of authenticity. The mintage is capped at just 500 pieces. Availability is quite limited on these, but we know that Coin Shoppe has them for sale at the time of writing, and Minted-UK had the previous coin in stock, so may also get this one.


An Italian poet born around 1265 and dying in 1321, Dante is widely lauded for his three part ‘Divine Comedy’ which is not only considered the greatest literary work in the Italian language, but also one of the most important of the Middle Ages. He eschewed the traditional use of Latin so that more people would have access to his writing, helping to set the local Tuscan dialect on its path to becoming the modern Italian language.

His influence is quite incredible to this day. The depictions of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven, set out in Divine Comedy, remain one of the greatest influences on a vast body of art across multiple mediums. Great writers like Geoffrey Chaucer, John Milton and Alfred Tennyson were said to be inspired by it. Countless works of art also bear its influence. Those that are familiar with, and like Scottsdale Mint’s Biblical Series of Gustave Dore based coins, will be pleased to know thaat Dore also did extensive work depicting The Divine Comedy.

He was buried in Ravenna in an ancient Roman sarcophagus. A Neoclassical tomb was built over the grave that remains there to this day.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 15 grams
MODIFICATIONS High-relief, Antiqued
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes