PMC adds three new major figures from history to its extraordinary series of shaped silver bust coins

Shaped coins seem to be surging in popularity, especially as the commemorative coin industry increasingly moves towards acceptance this is a legitimate form of art, rather than just an offshoot of circulating currency. There are simple shaped coins, of course, like a standard coin in relief, and then there are those that embrace the progress made in minting technology over the last decade. PMC’s series of historical busts, is firmly in the latter camp.

We’ve already seen some brilliant issues, Abraham Lincoln, Nikola Tesla, and George Washington, but over the last few weeks, that number has doubled, with the addition of Mozart, Van Gogh, and Caesar. Each follows the same formula – two ounces of 0.999 silver, antique finished, high-relief, and a themed obverse. All are important historical figures, based on what is believed to be the one of the more realistic portrayals of the subject, either a photograph, a painting, or a sculpture.

Mozart is outstanding, full of interesting details in the hair, the clothing, and on the obverse, which features musical notation from Piano Sonata No.331, a number that also sets the mintage. Van Gogh’s depiction is equally spot-on, with the obverse filled with a swirling pattern that mimics his distinctive style, along with his signature. The mintage here is 303, as he was born on 03 March. Lastly, there’s an outstanding rendering of Julius Caesar. This one has less secure foundations, being based on a Renaissance-era sculpture, but remains my favourite, regardless. The obverse is the least interesting (we would’ve liked an Imperial Eagle, for example), but the cold, calculating stare of the man comes through perfectly. The mintage is 396.

Each coin comes very nicely presented in themed packaging. We absolutely love this series here. It’s impeccably produced, beautifully realised, and has a fine, varied selection of subjects with good mintages. All should be available to order now. If I see one cheap enough, I may even get a Caesar! What next? As a Brit, I suggested Churchill (although that big bonce may need an extra half-ounce of metal!), but I’d also love to see Queen Elizabeth I, or her father, King Henry VIII, both icons with good source imagery. Please leave your own suggestions in the comments. I’m sure the mint would love to see them.


MINTS DESCRIPTION: Known for creating pieces full of melodic beauty and formal elegance, other composers and artists revered the works of Mozart for their richness and their harmonic texture. Mozart was a child phenom and quickly rose to fame in Europe. His parents toured Europe, using Mozart and his equally talented brother as a means to generate funds and connections. This slightly unhappy experience did not make the family wealthy, but it did make Mozart well-known. The composer sadly died young at 35, but he was already one of the most famous composers of his day upon his untimely death.

This portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is posthumous, but it is considered one of the finest examples of his likeness. This work was created by Barbara Kraft in 1819, which was long after the musician and composer had died. Pictures of the composer were sent to Kraft, who created her famous work based on these images. Relatives stated that this image was a very good likeness of the composer, and there is a similar image that was painted 40 years before that does appear to be quite similar. Mozart deserves no less than a true-to-life rendering as he was and is such an influential and famous composer both in his own day and today. The Obverse features the musical composition of Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K. 331.


Van Gogh is arguably one of the most famous impressionist painters, and his works are well-known for their lovely brushstrokes and their sense of color and movement. Van Gogh was a man who struggled with his mental health for almost all of his life, yet he still managed to create works of art that transcend generations. His self-portraits are among the best-known and beloved of his works because they reveal so much about what the artist saw within himself. In a day when photographs were not yet common, Van Gogh’s works depicting himself show us a lot about the painter.

This self-portrait was part of a series of 32 that Van Gogh created over ten years. This particular work was completed in September 1889, and it might be his last self-portrait. He was just about to leave Southern France, and the fact that he had created this image of himself indicates that he was once again without a model for his works. He often created self-portraits when he was not working on other pieces.


MINTS DESCRIPTION: There is no famous person more controversial or interesting than Julius Caesar. If his own actions in his life had not already made him famous around the world during his own life, Shakespeare’s representation of him in his plays would have been enough to cement Caesar’s fame for good. Julius Caesar still stands for a sense of reckless accomplishment and personal bravery even today, and nearly everyone alive has heard of this famous Roman. The likeness for this piece is modelled after the famous bust of Julius Caesar that was created by Andrea di Pietro di Marco Ferrucci from 1512-1514. The delicacy of the carving and design in the marble bust is astonishing, and this piece is held up as one of the best examples of Caesar’s image created long after he was alive.

The renderings of famous Romans that were done long after they had passed away are hindered by intrusions of lore, legend, and the standards of beauty that were popular at the time that the artist was creating works of art. While this might not have been how Caesar looked, the drama and impressive nature of this rendering certainly communicate the power that would have surrounded Caesar like a cloak.

DENOMINATION 10,000 Francs CFA (Chad) 10,000 Francs CFA (Chad) 10,000 Francs CFA (Chad)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.999 silver 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams 62.2 grams 62.2 grams
DIMENSIONS 30.0 x 50.0 mm 30.0 x 50.0 mm 30.0 x 50.0 mm
FINISH Antique Antique Antique
MODIFICATIONS Shaped, High-relief Shaped, High-relief Shaped, High-relief
MINTAGE 331 303 396