As we said in our earlier article, the Mint of Poland takes the opportunity at every recent World Money Fair in Berlin to showcase for release a ‘spatial’ coin, one that is heavily three dimensional. To date we’ve had the Fortuna Redux cylindrical coin, the beautiful Pyramids of Egypt, the exploded ‘cuboid’ Pope John Paul II, the spherical New 7 Wonders of the World, and the paper mimicking Chopins Score. This year saw the Trans-Siberian Easter Egg coin, and the re-appearance of one shown in 2015 in prototype form, Vesuvius.
While the previous spatial coins were all fundamentally geometric shapes (cylinder, sphere, cube, etc.), this new Vesuvius coin has a quite unique form, that of a volcano. The complexities of striking something this shape while keeping the intricate surface details undistorted would be beyond most mints, but the Mennica Polska has progressed to this level through several releases.
It’s a interesting design, certainly pushing the boundaries of what many would label a coin, and the decision to decorate the ‘reverse’ area with fresco elements from the magnificent Villa of the Mysteries is a fine one in theory, but perhaps in conjunction with the ‘mountain’ texture applied everywhere, it’s a little busy. Having been to Pompeii and the villa itself, I can see the appeal of the subject and it’s beautifully packaged in the Fortuna Redux style display box. It’s issued for Niue, so carries the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse / underside. There’s an appropriate mosaic-style pattern struck into this face that looks great.
In addition, it’s possible to buy the coin in an antique finish, initially by request to the mint, but some dealers have obviously taken the initial step in having some made available. Which you prefer is a matter of taste, but the 600 mintage remains a total of both versions, not 600 of each. Unlike the Trans-Siberian Egg coin, there’s no gilded variant. An ambitious coin without doubt, the limited 600 mintage and 6 oz weight mean it’s never going to be a budget item. Quite a few dealers in Europe and North America have these, and they seem to be just under the €1000 / $US1000 mark. We have noted that APMEX have them on sale for $695.00, a significant saving and well worth a look at that price.