Not what you would call a particularly prolific issuer of commemorative coins, this is in fact our first look at a new release from the island state and we’re starting with a fine one. Part of the Europa Coin Programme, this new coin was designed and engraved by Noel Galea Bason, a Maltese coin sculptor and engraver with over 60 coins to his credit. The subject of the coin is a sculpture by world renowned artist Antonio Sciortino. Called Dangerous Sport, it’s a striking work capturing a clever representation of movement, which he produced in 1937 while working in Rome.

The coin design is very nicely done. A straightforward representation of the sculpture with some minimal inscriptions sounds pretty unadventurous, but the subjects dramatic nature, combined with some nice placement seem to add up to a fine looking piece. The obverse incorporates the Eurostar logo as required by the rules of the programme, as well as a more extravagent version in the background. The emblem of Malta sits right in the middle.

Issued as a one standard ounce sterling silver coin, or as a 6.5g gold coin with an identical design, the pair are struck at the Royal Dutch Mint and should sell for €60 and €320 respectively. They can be purchased directly from the banks online e-shop facility at www.centralbankmalta.org, or we’ve seen them at some dealers like Aurinium in Germany. These 2016 coins will be part of five-year themed series within the Eurostar programme that will be dedicated to different periods of European art-forms and history. Others will be Modern 20th century (2016), The Age of iron and glass (2017), Baroque and Rococo (2018), Renaissance (2019) and Gothic (2020).

 

EUROPA COIN PROGRAMME

Also called the Eurostar Programme, is designed to allow EU member states to issue collector coins, all legal tender, in a series of themed releases celebrating European identity. It first came into being back in 2004 when the subject was EU enlargement, and there has been a new theme every year since, 2015 being 70 Years of the United Nations. The Eurostar logo, which you can see at the bottom of the obverse side of this new Maltese coin, is struck into every coin in the programme, but must stand seperately and unmodified, not integrated into the design. All coins must be struck in 0.900 fineness or above silver and be approximately crown-sized (40mm).

ANTONIO SCIORTINO

Antonio Sciortino (25 January 1879 – 10 August 1947) was a Maltese sculptor whose work reflects several artistic movements, including Realism and Futurism, as well as the influence of Auguste Rodin. He studied and worked in Rome. He developed an original style which drew the admiration of many and brought him commissions in Russia, Brazil and the USA.

Sciortino was a director of the British Academy of Arts in Rome (1911–1936), and from 1937 until his death he was a curator in the Malta Museum of Fine Arts.

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
€10 EURO 0.925 SILVER 28.28 g 38.61 mm PROOF 3,000 YES / YES
€50 EURO 0.916 GOLD 6.5 g 21.00 mm PROOF 1,000 YES / YES
CENTRAL BANK OF MALTA