Last May, Mint 21 had the great idea of starting a coin series that combined the planets in our solar system with the ancient gods that gave them their names. All of the nine planets in our local system, with the exception of Earth (an Anglo-German world for ‘ground’), take their names from the old pantheons of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, so it seems a natural act to combine the two in this way.
The first coin in 2019 was Mercury, but this year, the producer has doubled up with a pair – Mars and Uranus. Mars, of course, is named after the Roman God of War, and is one of the most well known of them all. Uranus was Greek, and one of the primordial deities – literally the personification of the sky. He was the ancester not only of all of the popular Greek gods we know today, but of the Titans as well. He remains less well known as none of the old cults in his name seem to have survived even into Classical times.
Like Mercury, Mars and Uranus have a distinct visual style. The background of each coin if filled with a colour reprosenation on the planet itself, Mars in its classic red, and the quite featureless Uranus a cold ice blue. A depiction of each god in the style of ancient sculpture, sits uncoloured in the foreground. Also as with Mercury, they’re both shown seated, which aids in maximising the canvas available. The antique finish enhances the depth of the high relief.
A common obverse marks the series as issued for the Republic of Cameroon, and despite being a conglomeration of old British and French colonies, carries the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. Packaging is of a fine, understated quality and the mintage of each is capped at 500 pieces. The coins are three ounces of fine silver in weight, with a nice sized 55 mm diameter. Both are available to pre-order now and are being distributed by Top World Coins. This is shaping up to be a fine eight-coin series.