Antique finish and a high-relief strike, two-ounce (62.2g) in weight, and featuring ancient mythology as a subject matter. This is a pretty good description of one of the hottest trends in commemorative coins over the last couple of years and here’s a guide to the series that kicked it all off. Launching in early 2014 with little fanfare, Zeus, the first in the Gods of Olympus trilogy, came out of nowhere and became a hit. It took a few days for word to spread, but it wasn’t long before the whole 1,500 mintage was gone and aftermarket prices started to rise quickly. The next two coins were released over the course of the year and were gone in hours at most, despite allocations to make sure as many people as possible got one.
Fast forward to 2015 and the success of gods meant a sequel series was inevitable. Admirably sticking with the trilogy format instead of getting greedy and releasing five or more coins, the Perth Mint didn’t stray far from the ultra-popular format, just changing gender and depicting three Goddesses of the ancient Greek pantheon. Packaging was lightly tweaked, and the mintage was increased from 1,500 to 2,000, but in all other respects it was business as usual, even the artist, Tom Vaughan staying on board. As popular as Gods was, Goddesses reaffirmed the Perth Mints commitment to the format.
It was less clear what was to come in 2016, especially after the first antique, high-relief coin of 2016 from the Perth Mint was a superb kangaroo design, but come March and the first of the third annual trilogy broke cover and it was, surprisingly, Odin from a Norse Gods series. Odin has been appearing on quite a few coins in the last couple of years from mints like Scottsdale, BH Mayer and Gainesville. Topping them all was a superb Legends of Asgard coin from the new Choice Mint, so it seemed a brave decision to go head to head with so many competing designs, but they did so and for 2017 they did the inevitable and started a Norse Goddesses trilogy. The change of artist to Ing Ing Jong has been seemless, always a concern with so fundamental as swapping the designer.
All of the coins in the four trilogies are rimless, and the very stylistic artwork takes full advantage of the fact. While the diameter is a little more than normal, most of the extra weight has again gone to coin thickness, a necessary compromise with high-relief strikes, but a shame regardless. The designs, initially splitting opinion, have become well regarded, we’re big admirers here. Quality is high, prices remain firm, and the three coins a year release schedule is just enough to maintain interest without swamping collectors budgets. Despite the rise in price from $180 to $200 AUD with the 2016 coins, they remain good value given the rarity, care, and presentation. A fine series, deservedly popular and highly recommended.