Released back in 2007,alongside the superb Evolution of Life series, Magnificent Life took a wholly different approach to the one-ounce coin. Eschewing the antique finish and rose-gold gilding of its prehistoric-themed sibling, this series went with a deep strike (a concave dish on the reverse face), a proof finish and varying amounts of colouration. Smartminting was in evidence, in this case allowing highly defined levels of subtle high-relief.
The series has run for six issues, but the 2020 release is to be the last one, sadly, as we certainly felt they were a long way from exhausting the subject matter. Irrespective of that, it’s good to see a defined series now, with collectors knowing what they have to do to get a full set together – something getting rarer these days…
The key to the look of these isn’t just down to the strike, but also to the high quality of the colouration. Many mints use a low res application that close-up looks like newsprint, with that old ‘dot-matrix’ look. In reality, that is less noticeable in hand, because the coin mayt only be sub-40mm in diametre, but that doesn’t mean a higher resolution doesn’t bring benefits. When you have high-relief, especially with smartmintings knack of sharp definition, high-resolution colour is able to follow that detail better, while offering a wider colour gamut and a richer application. As you can see from the coin images here, the end result is excellent.
The 2020 coin features the Chameleon, but there have beenentrants from the bird, reptile, amphibian and arachnid worlds, although strangely enough, no mammals or fish. Whatever the choices, their are no poor designs here, with the latter trio in particular raising the bar. Coloured proof coins are a staple of the modern collectible coin world, but they’re rarely done as well as they are here. No minigold variants, as CIT so often do with their major series, and packaaging is standard CIT fare (good quality). As we said earlier, a shame to see this series end, but it leaves a fine legacy and remains a very attractive series.