Forget the stone. Medusa turns herself to sterling silver with Niue’s impressive dimensional offering
After looking at Art Mint’s beautiful Medusa coin a couple of days ago, we’re now examining another Medusa coin of quite a different ilk. Major proponents of dimensional coins, the Mint of Poland have generally kept their issues to what we would call geometric shapes – cylinder, sphere. pyramid, etc. Now they’re combining minted and cast components to create something quite different.
Formed in a quarter of a kilo of sterling 0.925 silver, Medusa appears to be a two part coin. The Medusa face is struck in the same way a normal coin is, only with a particularly impressive level of relief. The mosaic-style obverse face with the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II in its centre, is part of that. Mounted to the reverse face is a cast representation of the famous snake-hair that defines the legendary Gorgons, of which Medusa is its most famous example. The coin is claimed to be based on the Medusa Rondanini, a late Hellenistic sculpture (or possibly an Augustan Roman copy), which you can see further down, but the link is tenuous at best and the coin has a style of its own.
The end result is certainly striking, and while clearly the same subject as Art Mints coin, it’s done in a completely different style. What you prefer is quite simply a matter of taste, but there is one issue that works in Art Mints favour – cost. Weighing in excess of eight ounces, this dimensional coin is retailing around the €1,000 mark. Even allowing for the diamond eyes in the other coin, that’s going to be at least double the cost.
The finished article on offer here is very striking and would clearly display beautifully. At around 3″ x 3″ in size, you’re not going to have to squint to see it, and the latex-skin floating frame will make display very simple. Available to order now, it should start to ship in early April. A few of our sponsors have it up, so you may want to try there first. A very cool release.
THE LEGEND OF THE GORGON, MEDUSA
Daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, Medusa was the most famous of the Gorgon sisters. Female, winged, ugly, and with hair formed of poisonous snakes, Medusa is one of the most iconic monsters in Greek mythology. The only one of the three Gorgon sisters to be mortal (the immortal others were Sthenno and Euryale), anyone who looked into her eyes was turned instantly to stone.
Said by Hesiod in his Theogeny to have lived on the island of Sarpedon, somehere near Cisthene, Herodotus placed the Gorgons in Libya where he said the original myth began with the Berber religion. In the myth she was said to have been a beautiful, golden-haired maiden, a priestess of Athena living a life of celibacy. She was wooed by the god Poseidon and forgetting her vows, married him. Athena punished her by turning her hair into venomous snakes, her eyes into a blood-shot stare, and her skin into a harsh greenish parody of its former beauty.
Seeing herself, Medusa fled, to wander Africa, dreaded and shunned by all. She became a hateful creature that matched her looks, until killed by the Greek hero Perseus who beheaded her. Perseus used her head to turn his enemies into stone until he gave it to Athena to place on her shield.
|DENOMINATION||$15 New Zealand (Niue)|
|DIMENSIONS||77.00 x 78.00 mm|
|BOX / COA||Yes / Yes|
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