German coin producer MCI Mint has launched a new nature coin looking at the part of an animal that looks at you – the eye. They say the eye is the window to the soul, but gazing into the eye of a crocodile this closely would likely be a fair indicator your time on this world is about to wrap up. There are already a couple of similar series knocking around the silver numismatic world. The Helvetic Mint has a series struck in an oval shape, beautifully coloured and with a decent level of relief. Numiscom has a series called Natures Eyes that shares some similarities.
MCI’s latest is a bit different from those. Struck in an ounce of fine silver which is then antique finished, it displays a good level of relief, less subtle but with a more prominent texture. The depiction of the skin around the crocodiles eye is quite primal looking, much like the reality of the reptile. The eye itself uses a technique they’re calling Real Eye Effect. It shares a name with the process used by Art Mints pretty cat coin, although we’re unsure if the process is the same. Inscriptions are small and unobtrusive – just the date, the composition and the coins title. The eye is extraordinarily effective, made all the more so by the expertly struck design of the metal around it. You couldn’t level the criticism that the eye has just been stuck on afterwards, it certainly looks a fully integral part of the design.
The obverse of the coin carries the state emblem of the African state of Burkina Faso, a country that MCI has a close numismatic relationship with. Packaging is a big step in the right direction. The acrylic block frames have been popularised by the New Zealand Mint who use them with some of their popular culture themed ranges. They’re nice and solid, easy to display and good looking. MCI have sandwiched an image inbetween the two halves to enhance the look. Only the bulky looking fasteners are a negative point, less delicate that the NZ Mint ones. All comes in a coloured shipper box, including a Certificate of Authenticity.
Available to order now, our blue-button link takes you to MCI’s own webstore, it retails for €119.00 with mintage limited to just 500 pieces. A nice debut, we’d expect to see further coins like this if this one proves popular. Animal eyes are an intriguing choice of subject, especially when as well done as this.