This set of four coins was released back in January and one we missed covering at the time. Now they’ve recently won the award for Coin Series of the Year at the Coin Constellation Awards, it seems a good opportunity to have a look at this very nice and unusual set. Unlike most of the Mint of Poland’s commemorative coins, these are issued for the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia instead of the more usual Niue.

Four coins in total, each features one of the world’s oldest and most famous trees and they’re a pretty amazing bunch all told.  The reverse sides are all adorned with a very detailed clean-struck image of the tree in question, under which is an inscription of the trees name on a coloured background of leaves, each in the style of the tree itself.  The artwork is universally excellent as is the design on the obverse. Depicting the usual Armenian emblem that those with a Noahs Ark bullion coin will recognise, it is bordered on the lower half by a collection of leaves and fruits. On each of the coins the correct fruit for the tree is picked out in colour. In all other regards the obverse does not differ between coins but it’s a nice touch and done in a very subtle manner.

Each of the one ounce fine silver coins is available seperately or in a nice wooden collectors box as a set of four. Total mintage of each sits at a maximum of 1,500. They seem to sell in the €80-100 range, with the set being fairly difficult to track down. All are available now and get a good recommendation from us.

COIN DESCRIPTION

Have you ever wondered what’s the oldest tree in the world? The Mint of Poland, inspired by the beauty of natural monuments for thousands of years adorning forests of our planet, is proud to present a new collection of 4 silver coins. The series „The Oldest Trees of the World” has been minted with meticulous attention to detail!

SKHTORASHEN PLATANUS (left)

Tnjri  is a 2035 year old giant platanus tree situated nearby the village of Skhtorashen, in the Martuni Province of Nagorno Karabakh. The hollow of the tree is 44 sq.m across, where more than 100 people can stand. The area covered by the foliage of the tree is an amazing 1400 sq.m.

The circumference of the tree is 27 m and the height is over 54 m, which can be compared with an 18 story building. The tree is situated in a valley not far from the village and stands near a natural spring (Tengru spring), which is the main source of irrigation for it.

ANGEL OAK (mid-left)

The Angel Oak Tree is a Southern live oak (Quercus virginiana) located in Angel Oak Park on Johns Island near Charleston, South Carolina. It is estimated to be in excess of 400-500 years old. It stands 20 m tall, 8.5 m in circumference, and produces shade that covers 1,600 m2. Its longest branch distance is 57 m in length.

The oak derives its name from the estate of Justis and Martha Angel, and local folklore tells stories of ghosts of former slaves appearing as angels around the tree. Despite the popular belief that the Angel Oak is the oldest tree east of the Mississippi River, there are many bald cypress trees throughout the south which are many hundreds of years older.

GENERAL SHERMAN (mid right)

The General Sherman is a giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) tree located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in Tulare County, California. By volume, it is the largest known living single stem tree on Earth. It is not the tallest living tree on Earth (that’s the Hyperion tree, a Coast Redwood), nor is it the widest (the largest cypress and largest baobab have greater diameters), or the oldest (that distinction belongs to a Great Basin bristlecone pine).

With a height of 83.8 m, a diameter of 7.7 m, an estimated bole volume of 1,487 m3, and an estimated age of 2,300–2,700 years, it is nevertheless among the tallest, widest and longest-lived of all trees on the planet.

HUNDRED HORSE CHESTNUT (right)

The Hundred Horse Chestnut is the largest and oldest known chestnut tree in the world. Located on Linguaglossa road in Sant’Alfio, on the eastern slope of Mount Etna in Sicily — only 8 km from the volcano’s crater — it is generally believed to be 2,000 to 4,000 years old (4,000 according to the botanist Bruno Peyronel). It is a Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa). Guinness World Records has listed it for the record of “Greatest Tree Girth Ever”, noting that it had a circumference of 57.9 m  when it was measured in 1780. Above-ground the tree has since split into multiple large trunks, but below-ground these trunks still share the same roots.

The tree’s name originated from a legend in which a queen of Aragon and her company of one hundred knights, during a trip to Mount Etna, were caught in a severe thunderstorm. The entire company is said to have taken shelter under the tree.

PACKAGING

Each coins comes packaged in a nice Mint of Poland coin box  placed inside a colourful shipper. In addition, the Mint sells a set of all four coins in a wooden box which can often work out a bit cheaper to purchase. Regardless, each of the coins has a maximum mintage across all the presentations of 1,500 pieces.

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SPECIFICATION PER COIN

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
100 ARMENIAN DRAM 0.999 SILVER 31.1 g 38.61 mm PROOF 1,500 YES / YES
MINT OF POLAND