The sequel to the nine-coin Norse Gods series released in 2016, Gladiators is an eight coin range of coins with an identical specification. Struck in high-relief and with an antique finish, these two-ounce fine silver coins depict the various classes of gladiator that fought for the enjoyment of the Ancient Roman citizenry. Sharing a similar visual style to the earlier Norse Gods coins, the first pair of the eight debuted in February 2017 from MDM Deutsche Munze, the German dealer responsible for Norse Gods.
Choosing to step away from the burgeoning ancient mythology market typified by multiple ranges of gods and beasts from the lore of the old civilisation, Gladiators looks at a ‘sport’ as inextricably linked with Ancient Rome as the Legions and the Emperors are. At the time of writing, all eight coins are available, even quicker than we suspected they would arrive.
The artwork is very much in keeping with Norse Gods and we’d be surprised if the same artist wasn’t responsible for both. The surrounding border carries the series name, the coin subject title and a recurring pattern. Other than the specific coin title, it’s common to all of the coins. The main artwork depicts the gladiator in the arena, the artist choosing to go with a more realistic than stylistic look. The seventh coin, Pollice Verso, has a design adapted from a popular piece of gladiatorial artwork, but the others seem to be completely original. The final two coins didn’t depict a type of gladiator, but went with background subjects, a nice touch that broadens the subject away from a simple, narrow perspective.
Each coin is struck in two ounces of silver to a high-relief design by BH Mayer in Germany. The coins are antique finished and share a common obverse (Solomon Islands / Queens effigy). Sadly the extra ounce has gone on thickness so the diameter remains crown-sized at 38.61 mm. Norse Gods was an underrated series in a field boasting a high standard, but we think that on early indications, this one is superior, a beautifully realised set covering an exciting subject.