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.