Cameroon and the Mint of Poland debut a fascinating new silver coin series ‘Carved Skulls and Bones’

A pernennial image in culture from Neolithic times right up to the modern world, the human skull has been used to represent everything from love to dread. The recent discovery of carved human skulls in a 12,000 year old temple in southeastern Turkey, which predates even most forms of agriculture, is proof positive of the hold such imagery has over us. A carved human skull from 18th century Tibet has proved to be the inspiration for this new silver coin series, Carved Skulls and Bones.

One from the talented group at the Mint of Poland and commissioned by dealers including Coins Boutique and Pela-Coins, the new series is struck in an ounce of fine silver. Very much in the Mint of Poland style, with a rimless, ultra high-relief design, this looks to be an impressive debut for the new series. Issued for the African country the Republic of Cameroon, the antiqued obverse features that nations shield-based emblem in the centre, surrounded by a border. Most of that border is filled with an engraved pattern inspired by the subject matter, but we’re not sure if this will change or be common to the series.

The main reverse face is very impressive. The standout feature is a copper-plated representation of the skull which you can see and read more about lower down. We only have a render at present, but this mint has a track record of exceeding them with the actual product, so we certainly aren’t worried in that regard. Detail levels look high and we’re sure it will look great against the antiqued background. Instead of being simplified, the background has a phenomenal amount of detail present and complements the skull perfectly. The difference in finishes presents either from overwhelming the other.

Presented in a themed box and with a certificate of authenticity, the whole thing looks to make a super package. Before this I wasn’t aware that carved skulls were even a thing today, but there seems to be plenty of interest in the field today and there are some artists still using the medium. Not as ghoulish as it sounds, the skulls are staggeringly important historical cultural artifacts, as in almost every civilisation it’s considered an object of reverence. Saying that though, the mintage is 666… Available to pre-order shortly, it should begin to ship in November. Coins Boutique, Pela-Coins, Powercoin and Minted-UK have them for sale right now and no doubt other dealers will follow.



Purchased from an antiques shop in Vienna, Austria, this amazingly carved skull was possibly made to “take a curse off a family or to guide the soul of a mislead human being on the right path”. The original seller claimed that it was given to an ancestor of his that had given medical treatment to a Tibetan abbot while travelling in that Asian country. It was suggested the skull was around 300 years old.

Covered in many Tibetan symbols and letters, some has been deciphered and some remains a mystery. Whatever the case, it’s a remarkable find and an inspired choice for a coin like this. Here’s hoping the rest of the series is based on such intriguing sources.


COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIAMETER 38.61 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, copper plating
BOX / COA Yes / Yes