As far as the world of art goes, is there anything more fascinating and mysterious as prehistoric rock art? Away from the sheer pretentiousness of much of the art world, especially the often comically appalling modern art scene (yes, it’s my opinion, but I’m taking it to the grave…), cave art is a uniquely interesting and important look at early civilisation, often an only look.
Obviously, we think it’s a great idea for a coin series, and so do Numiscollect, who’ve decided to resurrect an old 2011 series with a more ambitious 2023 issue. That old series, I actually have one here, I believe, was a simple, part-coloured, half-ounce sterling silver coin, and ran for just two releases. This one is a three-ounce, smartminted high-relief design, rocking (sorry) a 65 mm diameter, and a very esoteric subject.
The Abourma site, in Djibouti, seems to be quite amazing. Some three kilometres of literally thousands of rock carvings dating back as far as 5,000 BCE. The biggest of these is called ‘The Zoo’ and depicts an impressive selection of the fauna of the time. Numiscollect have chosen it for the reverse of their coin, realised in impressive high-relief, and what we can only describe as a quite superb colouring job. It’s a very accurate rendering, and clearly well above the 2011 coins.
That excellence continues on the obverse, with a mix of ancient art carvings, some in the process of creation by an artist. It’s packed to the rim, we love it. In another great touch, the coin is actually issued for Djibouti, and their neat national emblem takes pride of place in a ring-fenced area. The coin will come boxed with a COA, of course, and the mintage is capped at 499 pieces. Even ignoring our bias for the theme, it’s an excellent coin, in our view, done with a clear passion for the subject. Available to order now.