After the nine-coin Norse Gods series released in 2016 and the excellent Roman Gladiators series in 2017, MDM have launched a new ten-coin set for 2018 with the similar setting of the classical ancient world. Instead of featuring gods or types of gladiator, this set follows the story of the legendary Greek hero, Odysseus. His exploits are depicted over the course of the set, each one showing one of the tales laid out by writers of the day. Hugely popular in the Greek world, he was generally despised by the Romans because of his duplicitous nature and percieved lack of honour.
No changes to the specification – these are antique-finished, high-relief, two-ounce fine silver coins. The extra weight over a standard one-ounce coin has gone solely to thickness, an aspect we weren’t keen on before and aren’t here. We’d much rather the extra weight had gone to increasing the diameter of the coin to 50, or even 55 mm instead of the standard 38.6 mm employed here, but it isn’t a huge drawback and the designs remain first class regardless.
The artistic style in use here will be instantly recognisable to buyers of the earlier series, and it’s an eclectic and attractive one. Using an unusual mix of strange perspectives and changing scales, these are hardly realsitic depictions of the, admittedly mythological events, and they’re all the better for it. Very well done designs and we’re pretty sure the work of the same artist as the gladiator set, and likely the Norse god set as well. Each sits within a border and there’s a very neat, almost privy-like depiction of the two faces of a silver tetradrachm called the ‘Owl of Athena’.
The obverse is common to the set and as they’re issued for the Solomon Islands, they carry the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II in the centre, surrounded by the usual inscriptions (“ELIZABETH II” – the name of the Queen, “5 DOLLARS” – the face value, “SOLOMON ISLANDS” – the issue country, “2018” – the year of issue and “2 OZ Ag 999” – the weight of the coin and the fineness of the Silver.). Struck by BH Mayer in Germany, the quality is likely to be top-notch. Each coin is available individually packaged, so you can freely pick a single coin you like if you so wish, or as a complete set of ten in a big wooden box. A great set, we think.