Around this time last year, European coin producer Modern Numismatics International (MNI), debuted an excellent coin depicting the Roman Colosseum, and did so in an unusual way. At first glance the coin was a standard, cleanly-struck proof piece with a design showing the Colosseum as it is now, but when the coin was moved, a holographic representation of the pieces missing today, but present in antiquity at the time of construction, appeared. A popular piece, the coin wasn’t particularly expensive, and the mintage was quite tight at 3,000 units.

Fast forward to this year and MNI have launched a second coin featuring this technology and using the same theme. For 2016, the Parthenon on the Athens Acropolis is the subject in question and in most respects it’s similar to the 2015 coin. There are a couple of important differences however. Firstly, the coin is now issued for the Solomon Islands, not Niue, although we’re sure that will be of little concern to collectors, and secondly, the basic shape is no longer round but rectangular, something that seems better suited to the shape of the Parthenon that a round would be.

We were fortunate, thanks to the guys at MNI, to obtain a prototype coin so we could take some actual images of it, so what you see here is an actual coin and not artwork. There are no obverse images as the prototype didn’t have one (usual Queens head, so not an issue), but in other respects this is pretty much a finished item. The strike was very defined and the holographic effect strong and well placed. All in, a fine looking coin with well placed and designed inscriptions, creating a focused, unfussy look that works very well. Packaging can be seen in the video (as can the obverse) and like last years, is of a good quality, although not particularly themed for the release itself.

Struck in an ounce of fine (0.999) silver by Swiss masters PAMP, the coin is available to pre-order now and should ship in the next couple of weeks. It’s available from multiple dealers like Powercoin, APMEX, Minted-UK and Numiscollect.

Minted-UK have given us an offer of 7% off with the code AGAUNEWS07 with the purchase of the coin, or if you buy this one and last years Colosseum coin, AGAUNEWS10 will get you 10% off both.




The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a extremely rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis comes from the Greek words ἄκρον (akron, “highest point, extremity”) and πόλις (polis, “city”). Although there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as “The Acropolis” without qualification.

While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495 – 429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site’s most important buildings including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. The Parthenon and the other buildings were seriously damaged during the 1687 siege by the Venetians in the Morean War when the Parthenon was being used for gunpowder storage and was hit by a cannonball.

The Acropolis Restoration Project began in 1975 and is now nearing completion. The aim of the restoration was to reverse the decay of centuries of attrition, pollution, destruction stemming from military use, and misguided past restorations. The project included collection and identification of all stone fragments, even small ones, from the Acropolis and its slopes and the attempt was made to restore as much as possible using reassembled original material (anastylosis), with new marble from Mount Penteli used sparingly. All restoration was made using titanium dowels and is designed to be completely reversible, in case future experts decide to change things. A combination of cutting-edge modern technology and extensive research and reinvention of ancient techniques were used.

The Parthenon colonnades, largely destroyed by Venetian bombardment in the 17th century, were restored, with many wrongly assembled columns now properly placed. The roof and floor of the Propylaea were partly restored, with sections of the roof made of new marble and decorated with blue and gold inserts, as in the original. Restoration of the Temple of Athena Nike was completed in 2010.

A total of 2,675 tons of architectural members were restored, with 686 stones reassembled from fragments of the originals, 905 patched with new marble, and 186 parts made entirely of new marble. A total of 530 cubic meters of new Pentelic marble were used. (Source: Wikipedia)




The Parthenon is a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis in Athens, Greece, dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron. Construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the peak of its power. It was completed in 438 BC although decoration of the building continued until 432 BC.

It is the most important surviving building of Classic Greece, generally considered the zenith of the Doric order. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek Art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, Athenian democracy and western civilization, and one of the world’s greatest cultural monuments.

REVERSE: The reverse of this holographic coin recreates the Parthenon as it was in Ancient Greece via holographic imaging that is transposed upon what remains of the structure in present time. The detail captures ionic architectural features, eight columns at either end (“octastyle”) and seventeen on the sides. The the inscription: “The Acropolis” lies on the top of the coin, while the bottom pronounces “Athens”.

OBVERSE: Issued as legal tender under the authority of Solomon Islands, the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The monetary denomination, and the 2015 year-date are shown on the coin’s obverse.




$2 SOLOMON ISLANDS 0.999 SILVER 31.1 g 47.0 x 27.0 mm PROOF 3,000 YES / YES