Mint21 Week: Notre Dame Cathedral is showcased in fine style on Cameroon’s new high relief coin

The last coin of the six new issues released by Mint 21 at the Berlin World Money Fair is also one of the best. With the tragic destruction of much of the fabric of the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris last year, there was a renewed interest in the numismatic world, with several fine coins making a debut, chief among them Art Mint’s outstanding reproduction of the Northern Rose Window.

Mint 21’s two-ounce fine silver coin takes a different approach to that one, starting on the obverse with an isometric view of the cathedral and the surrounding structures. There’s almost a medieval look to this, enhanced by the antique finish. Fortunately, the issue inscriptions are kept to a surrounding border, itself enhanced with a ‘cobblestone’ effect pattern in its background.

The main attraction of this coin is certainly the reverse face. Notre Dame is famous for its external decoration. The facades are replete with gargoyles, carvings and statues, and Mint21 have chosen the latter as the main focus of the coin. As you’d probably guessed from looking at the previous coins we’ve covered this week, this has an outstanding look and what appears to be a first class strike. A perspective view of four religious statues is perfectly done, and the background is filled with the stonework element of a Rose Window. Instead of filling the stone tracery with a reproduction of the stained glass, they’ve instead shown the conflagration that caused so much damage.

It’s a beautiful coin, especially the reverse face, and joins a small and select number of quality coins featuring this stunning building. Shipping sometime in May, it comes boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

This beautiful coin is created in honour of one of the most famous landmarks of France – Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral and the fire incident that happened on 15 April 2019. A massive fire ravaged the medieval cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. Most of the wood/metal roof and the spire of the cathedral was destroyed, with about one-third of the roof remaining, including the two bell towers, has been saved.

President of France Emmanuel Macron called it a “terrible tragedy”. On the coin, the most significant architecture figures are depicted in high detail. Unique and one-of-a-kind coin created specially for honouring Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral!

NOTRE DAME DE PARIS

Notre-Dame de Paris is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and it’s among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass serve to contrast it with earlier Romanesque architecture. The cathedral treasury contains a reliquary, which houses some of Catholicism’s most important relics, including the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails.

Notre-Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress. The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave but after the construction began, the thinner walls grew ever higher and stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral’s architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued the pattern. The total surface area is 5,500 m² .

Many small individually crafted statues were placed around the outside to serve as column supports and water spouts. Among these are the famous gargoyles, designed for water run-off, and chimeras. The statues were originally coloured as was most of the exterior., but the paint has worn off. The cathedral was essentially complete by 1345. The cathedral has a narrow climb of 387 steps at the top of several spiral staircases; along the climb it is possible to view its most famous bell and its gargoyles in close quarters, as well as having a spectacular view across Paris when reaching the top.

The most significant change in design came in the mid 13th century, when the transepts were remodelled in the latest Rayonnant style; in the late 1240s Jean de Chelles added a gabled portal to the north transept topped off by a spectacular rose window.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION 2,0000 Francs CFA (Cameroon)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
DIMENSIONS 50.0 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief, colour
MINTAGE 500
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
European Mint ad