Mint of Poland keeps an eye out for the next big thing. Is it their Cyclops coin?

Of the many Mint of Poland coins in their expansive ancient myths and legends range, few are actually released directly by the mint itself, and they often display a lower level of customisation than those issued by third parties. However, that doesn’t mean the coins are of a lower quality or level of ambition. As an example, we can look at the latest – Cyclops.

Taking the mints favourite two-ounce fine silver format, with a rimless strike, antique-finish and high relief, it ticks all the boxes that have made this genre so popular over the last half-decade. So, it all comes down to the design and this looks to be a good one. The Cyclops is one of the more striking figures in the ancient mythologies, interwoven with some of the most famous and fantastical stories in this expansive library.

The depiction here is of one of the giant creatures, possibly Polyphemus from Homers Odyssey, emerging from his cave lair, gilded club in hand, with the entrance adorned with the skulls of past victims. The scene is a nice summation of the popular image of the Cyclops and looks well realised, although the official images don’t seem to render the antique finish as well as the smaller press pdf pictures do.

Our earlier comment about a lower level of customising applies to the obverse. It’s a standard design for a Cameroon issued coin and lacks any extra integration into the theme, as is common on many of these designs. A shame, but not a deal-breaker. Presented in one of the mints latex ‘floating’ frames, on the whole, it looks to be a good release. The mintage is set at 500 pieces and it’s available to order now.

CYCLOPS

A cyclops (meaning ‘circle-eyed’) is a one-eyed giant first appearing in the mythology of ancient Greece. The Greeks believed that there was an entire race of cyclopes who lived in a faraway land without law and order. Homer, in his Iliad, describes the Cyclopes as pastoral but savage, typical of the strange creatures the Greeks created to represent foreign societies not regarded as civilised as themselves.

The Cyclopes are not without talents, though, and are credited with manufacturing the thunderbolts which Zeus used as a terrible throwing weapon and as the builders of gigantic fortification walls such as those still seen at Mycenaean sites today. The most famous cyclops is Polyphemus, who captured the Greek hero Odysseus and his men only for them to escape by blinding the poor giant. Cyclopes, and particularly the Odysseus story, were popular and enduring subjects in all forms of Greek and Roman art.

Cartwright, Mark. “Cyclops (Creature).” World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 13 Nov 2019. Web. 17 Mar 2021.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION 2,000 Francs CFA (Cameroon)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
DIMENSIONS 50.0 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, Gilding
MINTAGE 500
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
MINT OF POLAND