MDM joins the burgeoning mythology genre with new proof silver coin series.

Despite the wide range of coins depicting the gods, legends and general mythology of ancient times, producers continue to swell the ranks with new additions. German dealer MDM has, in conjunction with German mint BH Mayer, already built a strong presence in the field with its nine-coin Norse Gods series and its 5oz special, along with the impressive layered 1kg Twelve Gods of Olympus, and ten-coin minigold Gods of Olympus set. With a Chthonic Gods kilo on the way, it’s clear that MDM sees continued interest in this subject matter.

Their latest foray is another silver set, this time of five coins, but also at two-ounces per coin in weight. There’s no sign of the almost de rigueur antique finish that so proliferates with this type of coin. Instead they’ve gone with the popular reverse-proof finish, in which the relief, in this case part of it, is struck to a mirrored finish, while the background is finely textured. It’s a technique popularised over many years by the Perth Mint with its many semi-numismatic bullion coin ranges. In this case the delineation between the two finishes isn’t clear cut, but has a designed in mix.

The series debuts with two coins, the Griffin and the Mermaid. Each has what is being claimed to be “double high-relief minting“, a vague statement, but the coins clearly don’t lack for good levels of relief, so all good there. Artwork is obviously subjective, but these are packed with detail and carry enough similarities between them (font, border design) to strongly mark them as belonging to the same series. More importantly, the designs are well done, particularly the griffin in our view.

Each coin is issued for the Solomon Islands, an increasingly popular choice, and like Niue and other small island states, has the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse, something we feel gives a numismatic importance to coins from tiny states, irrespective of some collectors being tired of seeing it. Packaging is innovative, although the finish looks a little dated, and a five-coin set box is also available. A colourful Certificate of Authenticity is enclosed. No news on price or availability yet, but dealers that carried the Norse Gods range will likely get them so just ask them.

2017 SOLOMON ISLANDS MYTHS & LEGENDS COINS 1 & 2

THE GRIFFIN AND THE MERMAID

The griffin, griffon, or gryphon is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and an eagle’s talons as its front feet. Because the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. The griffin was also thought of as king of all creatures.

Griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions. Adrienne Mayor, a classical folklorist, proposes that the griffin was an ancient misconception derived from the fossilized remains of the Protoceratops found in gold mines in the Altai mountains of Scythia, in present-day southeastern Kazakhstan, or in Mongolia, though this hypothesis has been strongly contested as it ignores pre-Mycenaean accounts.

In antiquity it was a symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine.

A mermaid is a legendary aquatic creature with the head and upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. Mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, Africa and Asia. The first stories appeared in ancient Assyria, in which the goddess Atargatis transformed herself into a mermaid out of shame for accidentally killing her human lover.

Mermaids are sometimes associated with perilous events such as floods, storms, shipwrecks and drownings. In other folk traditions (or sometimes within the same tradition), they can be benevolent or beneficent, bestowing boons or falling in love with humans.

Some of the attributes of mermaids may have been influenced by the Sirens of Greek mythology. Historical accounts of mermaids, such as those reported by Christopher Columbus during his exploration of the Caribbean, may have been inspired by manatees and similar aquatic mammals.

Source: Wikipedia

SINGLE COIN AND FIVE-COIN SET PACKAGING

MINTS DESCRIPTION

  • The concise 5 coin-collection excites with spectacular designs – presented through Reverse Proof Double High Relief Minting
  • Experience the great mythological figures of the past delivered with the minting technology of the future – the Double High Relief technique.
  • The 5 Silver Coins can be sold individually or in a specially designed collection packaging.
  • Not to be missed: this precious collection is strictly limited to merely 1,500 sets worldwide.
  • Giving proof to the originality: Every coin carries the privymark of the collection.
  • Overview of all 5 issues: Griffin, Mermaid, Phoenix, Sea Monster, Wizard

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 SOLOMON ISLANDS 0.999 SILVER 62.2 g 40.0 mm REVERSE PROOF 1,500 YES / YES

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MDM DEUTSCHE MUNZE