ALLEGORIES (2019-) by Germania Mint

What better way to expand the notion of Germania as the personification of a historic people than to have her stand alongside other, more well-known examples. Allegories seeks to pair her with the elegant women that symbolise other nations around the world, and there are plenty of them to choose from. The choice of the very well known Britannia to launch the series was a master-stroke, and it’s opened up the series to figures that many may be more unfamiliar with.

To date, we’ve seen Britannia, Columbia, Italia, Austria, and Polonia, but other potential candidates include Marianne (France), Hibernia (Scotland), Helvetia (Switzerland), and Hispania (Spain). Ironically, despite the vast differences in culture between some of these nations, the appearance of their personifications is quite similar, mainly because most are rooted in imagery drawn from ancient European cultures, especially the Greco-Roman world. That explains the long, flowing robes and headgear that many feature in common.

Allegories is similar to Germania in overall concept and style, but there are significant differences in the way they’ve been realised. Germania incorporates proof coins, gold coins, and multiple sizes, some carrying art that changes in perspective as the coin size increases. By contrast, Allegories seems firmly rooted in the bullion side of things. As a result, they feature not only a common obverse and design, but also a common diameter of 38.61 mm. The range is sold in 1 oz, 2 oz, 5 oz, and 10 oz forms, with the only difference between them being the denomination, and unusually, the thickness, which accounts for 100% of the weight differential, and varies from 3 mm, to 25.85 mm.

Another great series from Germania Mint, really helping to flesh out the numismatic world they’re creating, along with other series set in the same universe, like Mythical Forest, and Germania Beasts, the latter just getting its second issue, and the former awaiting its third. Relatively small mintages, and some neat packaging on the three biggest formats, add to the appeal. Hopefully, this series will continue for a long while, as it has the makings of a classic.

2019 GERMANIA & BRITANNIA

If you’re going to kick off a series like this, then the iconic Britannia is the way to do it. Of all the national personifications in female form, Britannia is the most rooted in actual history, well-known, and defined in appearance. The plumed Roman-style helmet, trident, and union flag shield mean the figure on the left can’t be anyone else but Britannia. The pose and Germania’s outreached hand signify perhaps the latter reaching out to a wise figure for advice. Even though this isn’t the best design in the series, it’s the one we feel works the best for the concept, although the 2022 issue is its match.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: The first coin from the Allegories series features a personification of two historical lands: Germania and Britannia. On earlier coins, Germania has preserved a laurel wreath with a shield. This time, her sword rests at peace in a scabbard attached to her waist, and she reaches out her hand in a sensitive gesture to Britannia. So far, Lady Britannia was presented as a beautiful and thoughtful woman. On the new coin she is surrounded by her characteristic attributes – a Roman helmet with a plume, a shield and a trident, which refers to the former maritime power of her land. We can search for symbolism of these two Amazons in the historical context as well as in the current events…

2019 GERMANIA & COLUMBIA

Here, the United States is represented not by Liberty, but by Columbia. She’s dressed in a more modern style, appropriate given the young nation, and carrying a large flag, something American culture seem to have a particular love of.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: Germania Mint presents a modern interpretation of both poetic personifications of America and the ancient Germanic land. In the second chapter of the Allegories, the feminine symbols of the United States and Germania walk together towards the future, symbolizing the common European past and tradition.

2020 GERMANIA & ITALIA

A nice casual, less militaristic portrayal here, with Italia standing next to what we see as a stone plinth in the Roman style, adorned with the bicephalous eagle, and an ornate display of fruit atop it. The second issue in the first five to completely eschew weaponry. An attractive change.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: The personification of Italy is depicted as a young woman with long, curly hair and pleated dress highlighting her femininity. A crown, with mural-like towers resting on her head, represents an emblem of tutelary deities who watch over a city. The Horn of Plenty by her side symbolizes prosperity and wealth. Like in previous Allegories designs, Lady Italia is accompanied by our, well known, personification of Germania. The women are standing close to each other, with Germania’s hand on Italia’s shoulder – a symbol of friendship between cultures.

2021 GERMANIA & AUSTRIA

A more formal design, with both Lady Germania and Lady Austria seated in full regalia. Given the very close nature of Germany and Austria, the similarity between the two women is to be expected, with the latter holding a spear being the most obvious distinction.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: In the past, Lady Austria was regarded as the epitome of the multi-ethnic country… In the artistic vision of Germania Mint, she is holding a spear, which symbolizes the axis of the world, power, dignity and honour. Austria’s head is decorated with a laurel wreath, a symbol with multiple positive meanings, whilst Germania is crowned with a branch of an oak – the tree that has accompanied her from the very beginning of the series. In turn, our heroine holds her inherent attribute – the imperial sword “Reichsschwert”. Closeness between the two Germanic amazons represents friendship between both cultures.

2022 GERMANIA & POLONIA

This is a particularly nice design, with both women looking outwards in solidarity, one armed with a sword, the other the Germanic shield. Polonia is less clearly defined visually than, for example, Britannia, so the mint has had a freer hand with the interpretation, but they’ve kept it close to Germania herself. That makes sense given the proximity of the two nations, and the similar history and culture. After all, much of the historic Magna Germania is modern-day Poland.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: The obverse of the coin presents the personifications of Polonia and Germania, depicted as young and beautiful women. In the past, the female figure embodying the Kingdom of Poland was considered to be imbued with divinity. In the artistic vision of Germania Mint, she is holding a large shield with an eagle (symbol of victory and strength). The eagle has been part of our emblem since the first Polish city was founded. Lady Polonia head’s adorned with a crown, a symbol of kings, while Germania is crowned with a branch of an oak, the tree that has accompanied her from the very beginning of the series. Both heroes stand proudly, close to each other, signalling equality and friendship between the two cultures.

SPECIFICATIONS

This isn’t too complicated to describe, as each weight has the same diameter. All of the difference between the various formats is taken up by increased thickness. It’s an idea that mints have been using for decades on smaller coins, the Royal Mint’s piedfort editions immediately springing to mind, but taking it to these extremes is very rare.

It’s an attractive idea for the silver stacker, although less so for the numismatic collector, who will miss the expanded diameter of bigger coins to show off the artwork, like this mints Germania series, for example.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE PACKAGING
5 MARK 31.1 g / 0.9999 Silver 38.61 mm B/UNC 25,000 Capsule/Cert
10 MARK 62.2 g / 0.9999 Silver 38.61 mm B/UNC 2,500 Blisterpack/Cert
25 MARK 155.5 g / 0.9999 Silver 38.61 mm B/UNC 500 Blisterpack/Cert
50 MARK 311.1 g / 0.9999 Silver 38.61 mm B/UNC 250 Blisterpack/Cert

COMMON OBVERSE DESIGNS

We’re big admirers of the obverse design on the base Germania series, and equally pleased to see that traditional flair on show here as well. As the mint rightly points out in its own description, Germania was never a defined nation, but rather a loose collection of tribes in a historical region. As a result, there are no genuine national emblems or symbols, so the mint has taken the obvious step of creating one. Given their whole ethos of creating this fictional work using multiple series, it’s a sensible approach.

Built using the correct heraldic rules, it’s a four-segment shield, one containing a boar, the animal closely associated with both the forests of the region, and the Roman Army. Another contains the Germania Mint’s superb bicephalous eagle, with the last two featuring a chequerboard pattern (for wisdom and prudence), and a ribbon with three flowers (for unity, integrity, & freedom).

The shield is topped with a crown, and framed on both sides with an oak leaf wreath. The background is textured with the same design as that on the Germania range. A very attractive design, tapping into traditional numismatic elements. Apart from the numerical ‘value’ each of the four obverses are identical.

PACKAGING

Hardly anybody does blisterpack presentation as well as Germania Mint does, and this is evident here. Despite there being an almost 9-fold increase in thickness between the lightest and heaviest formats, they’ve managed to keep it consistent in style. Each gatefold pack holds the coin, and the Certificate of Authenticity. The COA has the signature hologram security feature. It all comes in a black and gold slipcover for protection.

GALLERY