We’re all very familiar with the Seven Wonders, including such iconic structures as the Great Pyramids of Giza, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, but fewer know that it’s actually called the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and only one of them is still standing. As a result, there’ve been many attempts at similar lists, some featuring natural wonders, some post-ancient, and some modern.
Another popular idea was simply adding to the classic original list, and this is where things get interesting. The Eighth Wonder title certainly isn’t short of candidates, even if you ignore the natural candidates, and those built after 1900, so theming a coin series around them seems a great idea. Numiscollect’s first choice is an Ethiopian marvel carved into solid bedrock, but unlike Petra, in Jordan, King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela of the Zagwe dynasty decided to dig down, rather than into it. The result is eleven monolithic churches that you literally look down upon.
The most famous of them is called the Church of Saint George, and that’s depicted on the reverse face of the coin. Now, this is no giant cathedral, so it isn’t visually imposing, but you couldn’t really ask for a better encapsulation of the building. At the top is the Lalibela Cross, and coloured on the right is a view of the church from above. It’s weird to think the roof is at ground level. The obverse has a globe formed from dots, and the effect is very cleverly enhanced by warping the text and silhouetted skyline as if they’re on a spherical surface. We’ll assume from the design that this obverse will be common to the series.
This two-ounce 0.999 silver coin will come boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity, and has a mintage capped at 555 pieces. It’s available to order now. As we said earlier, we think this is a great idea for a series, and with worthy candidates like Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, and England’s 2022 World Cup win, it could grow into a fascinating set.