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.