The second coin to be debuted at the 2016 World Money Fair by French coin producer Art Mint has now reached launch status, and this one is a much different affair to The Cat coin we covered a few days ago. Previously producing some fine coins such as the Mandala series, the Stradivarius, and the Versailles Hall of Mirrors, this is another in the line of very high quality and unusual designs that this company is increasingly known for.

Apart from being struck for Niue in two ounces of fine (0.999) silver, and being round, this coin differs from the earlier cat coin in every other way. Eschewing any form of adornment, they’ve gone for a process previously used mainly by the aftermarket coin modifiers to change the look of bullion coins, like AllCollects nice Golden Enigma coin series. That process involves using Ruthenium or Rhodium to plate areas of the coin, much like gilding with gold, but the resultant effect is a dark grey finish. Having also chosen to part gild the coin as well, the resultant look is high in contrast and very classy looking.

The design is helped immensely by relegating all of the usual, and necessary inscription to the obverse face of the coin, which has the original silver selectively visible through the rhodium plating. The reverse face has the selective gilding in conjunction with the Rhodium to mimic a style of pottery adornment undertaken in ancient times, and does so superbly. The artwork is based on the underside of an Attic red-figured kylix (cup) that was made around 470 B.C.E. and now resides in the Gregorian Etruscan Museum, part of the Vatican Museums in Rome. The story, outlined further down, is quite tragic, but the image depicts the famous scene where Oedipus answers the riddle of the Sphinx and thus frees Thebes from its grasp. It’s a great design, very true to the 2,500 year old original, and a well chosen source for the process. We think the Art Mint are to be commended here.

The coin is available to pre-order now, but as only 299 pieces are being struck, the limited nature means the coin will sell for a recommended €390.00 EURO, althought there are short-term discounts available from their site which bring it down, and the coin is available from a few dealers worldwise as well. The Art Mint have progressed to the high-end of the market with some very high quality and original designs, all of which seem to sell out, so while the bar to entry is a bit higher than many others, you’re getting something quite special. We saw the coin in February in a clean struck state without the finishes, and it was apparent then this would be a good one. It doesn’t look like we’ll be disappointed


We are very proud to offer you the first issue of Art Mints new “GREEK MYTHS” coin series with the “Oedipus and Sphinx” myth.

The pure Silver 2oz coins are strictly limited to only 299 pieces worldwide and minted in special Relief technique combined with the rare and precious RHODIUM element, selective gold plated and serial number on the edge. Furthermore, they impress with their various engraved details and the sophisticated and meticulously picked out in Gold Plate. A masterpiece of numismatic art!


Greek mythology is the body of myths and teachings that belong to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. It was a part of the religion in ancient Greece. Greek mythology is explicitly embodied in a large collection of narratives, and implicitly in Greek representational arts, such as vase-paintings and votive gifts. Greek myth attempts to explain the origins of the world, and details the lives and adventures of a wide variety of gods, goddesses, heroes, heroines and mythological creatures.

These accounts initially were disseminated in an oral-poetic tradition; today the Greek myths are known primarily from Greek literature. Archaeological findings provide a principal source of detail about Greek mythology, with gods and heroes featured prominently in the decoration of many artifacts. Greek mythology has had an extensive influence on the culture, arts, and literature of Western civilization and remains part of Western heritage and language.


Oedipus (“swollen foot”) was a mythical Greek king of Thebes, the son and killer of Laius, son and consort of Jocasta, and father and sibling of Polynices,Eteocles, Antigone, and Ismene. A tragic hero in Greek mythology, Oedipus accidentally fulfilled the prophecy, despite his efforts not to, that he would end up killing his father and marrying his mother, thereby bringing disaster to his city and family. When the truth was discovered, his wife-mother hanged herself, and Oedipus gouged out his own eyes. They had four children together. The story of Oedipus is the subject of Sophocles’s tragedy Oedipus the King, which was followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone. Together, these plays make up Sophocles’s three Theban plays. Oedipus represents two enduring themes of Greek myth and drama: the flawed nature of humanity and an individual’s role in the course of destiny in a harsh universe.

In the most well-known version of the myth of what happened after Oedipus was born to King Laius and Queen Jocasta, Laius wished to thwart a prophecy. Thus, he fastened the infant’s feet together with a large pin and left him to die on a mountainside. The baby was found on Cithaeron by shepherds and raised by King Polybus and Queen Merope in the city of Corinth. Oedipus learned from the oracle at Delphi of the prophecy, but believing he was fated to murder Polybus and marry Merope, he left Corinth. Heading to Thebes, Oedipus met an older man in a chariot coming the other way on a narrow road. The two quarreled over who should give way, which resulted in Oedipus killing the stranger and continuing on to Thebes. He found that the king of the city (Laius) had been recently killed and that the city was at the mercy of the Sphinx. Oedipus answered the monster’s riddle correctly, defeating it and winning the throne of the dead king and the hand in marriage of the king’s widow, his mother, Jocasta.

Oedipus and Jocasta had two sons (Eteocles and Polynices) and two daughters (Antigone and Ismene). In his search to determine who killed Laius (and thus end a plague on Thebes), Oedipus discovered it was he who had killed the late king (his father). Jocasta, upon realizing that she had married her own son and Laius’s murderer, hanged herself. Oedipus then seized two pins from her dress and blinded himself with them. Oedipus was driven into exile, accompanied by Antigone and Ismene. After years of wandering, he arrived in Athens, where he found refuge in a grove of trees called Colonus. By this time, warring factions in Thebes wished him to return to that city, believing that his body would bring it luck. However, Oedipus died at Colonus, and the presence of his grave there was said to bring good fortune to Athens.

The legend of Oedipus has been retold in many versions, and was used by Sigmund Freud to name and give mythic precedent to the Oedipus complex.




$5 NEW ZEALAND 0.999 SILVER 62.2 g 50.0 mm GILDED & RHODIUM 299 YES / YES