Originators of the modern domed precious metal coin, the Monnaie de Paris kicked off what has quickly become one of the hottest trends in numismatics back in 2009, with the launch of a very cool coin to celebrate the official Year of Astronomy. Available in gold and silver, it was popular enough for the Royal Australian Mint to release their own silver three-coin series starting in 2012 and ending last year. Sport has seen a fair few domed coins over the last couple of years. Baseball, football, cricket, netball and cricket again have all been represented. This time around we’re entering the world of rugby and the Monnaie de Paris have had a brainwave.
All the domed coins to date have been round. That’s a sensible move given these are apparently far more difficult to strike without distorting than would seem at first glance. More mints have attained the necessary ability, so the Monnaie de Paris have upped the ante again. Rugby having an oval shaped ball made the choice to strike an oval coin a bit of a no-brainer. Taking that a step further and we have the world’s first silver and gold domed oval coins.
The design is extremely clever, especially on the reverse face. Depicting a scrum from above, the almost tortoise-shell shaped sporting formation is a perfect fit for the concave side. The convex side carries a rugby image, but it hasn’t been designed specifically for a concave surface. The whole coin looks bang on subject and is technically very impressive. We’ll see how long it takes for another mint to follow suit with this format. Available as a 1oz gold and as a 22.2g silver, the two coins are identical in size with the difference in weight being taken up by the greater density of gold in comparison.
In addition to these two oval coins, the mint has also released a pair of standard, flat, round gold coin in ¼oz and 5oz formats, the latter coming in at €9,700 with a mintage of just 99 pieces. The silver will onbviously be of most interest here, selling as it does for a reasonable €66.00 and with a mintage limited to 5,000. Rugby is very popular in Europe and the Commonwealth, and along with quite a few collectors putting together sets of domed issues, it looks like this one could be a good seller. Packaged in a decent box with a certificate of authenticity, all are available to order now from the Monnaie de Paris website, and from some of their dealers.