GERMANIA (2019-) by Germania Mint

National personifications in female form have a long history with the numismatic world. Marianne in France, Liberty in the USA, Helvetia in Switzerland, Hibernia in Scotland and, of course, the ancient Britannia in the UK, have all come to encapsulate the popular image of a country by using the striking imagery of a woman in classic pose. Now it’s the turn of ancient era Germania to have its past encapsulated by a lady in a dress.

Germania has a long history in various forms, the female personification gaining much popularity in ancient times, tied to the proliferation of gods and goddesses. She first appeared in Roman times, but rose to increased importance around 1500 CE, with the birth of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, under Emperor Maximilian I, who, with his humanists, morphed her into the Mother of the Nation. Lady Germania was particular popular in the early 19th century, and was a popular subject in the art scene of the time.

Germania is a Latin word, long since supplanted by ‘Deutschland’, although a variant of it is firmly rooted in the English name for the region. However, Germania encompassed a far greater area than the modern country, with only a fraction of it incorporated into the Roman Empire. Magna Germania remained a thorn in the side of the Romans, eventually overrunning the Western Empire. Germania’s personification was usually depicted as a reddish-blonde woman, wearing armour, and wielding a Reichsschwert (imperial sword), along with a medieval-style shield sometimes bearing a black eagle crest on a gold field.

In 2019, Kurowski Metals introduced its first bullion round, Germania, to much acclaim, and the producer has expanded its range to include many other facets of the concept of this ancient land, including Allegories, Mythical Forests, and Germania beasts. The series here remains the heart of the range, and Kurowski are now called Germania Mint. All depict Lady Germania in various poses, and the selection of bullion sizes, and numismatic variants remains popular today, with each new annual issue seeming to increase in detail and artistic flair.

Below, you will see the various designs and formats in this series laid out, and soon we’ll finally get some of our own real-world images of some of them up as well. A very pretty series, technically rounds (the denomination is fictitious), but bearing all the hallmarks of classic national numismatics. A series concept around which a talented producer has built a whole range of first-class bullion offerings. We’ll have a similar profile of Allegories up shortly.

2019 GERMANIA

REVOBV
REVOBV
REVOBV

The debut coin was a huge hit, tapping into the ever-popular idea of national personifications, offering an attractive depiction of a female, in the traditional style of long flowing robes, sword and shield. A guilloche pattern populated the background field on the reverse face, something that remains with the series to this day. She has a victory laurel wreath on her head, with a medieval period sword and shield in her hands.

As far as straight up bullion goes, there’s just a one-ounce 0.9999 silver coin on offer, with a 25,000 mintage. Three numismatic variants were produced, each capped at 500 units. Two are single-coloured, but done with Kurowski Metal’s own process. Called Space Blue, and Space Red, they’re visually quite striking in hand. The last is a multi-finish design done with six metals, not colour ink. The background field is ruthenium, the robe is rose gold, the dress and border are gilded, the shield is palladium, and the sword is white ruthenium. The last few details are left unplated silver. The obverse is ruthenium and yellow gold plating. An interesting idea, although not entirely successful aesthetically speaking.

As well as those, there are proof one-ounce 0.9999 gold versions, and the same in silver. The background field is left in a mirror finish, as with a traditional proof coin.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE PACKAGING
5 MARK 0.9999 Silver 38.61 mm B/UNC 25,000 Capsule/Cert
5 MARK 0.9999 Silver 38.61 mm BLUE 500 Box/Cert
5 MARK 0.9999 Silver 38.61 mm RED 500 Blisterpack/Cert
5 MARK 0.9999 Silver 38.61 mm SIX METAL 500 Capsule/Cert
5 MARK 0.9999 Silver 38.61 mm PROOF 1,000 Blisterpack/Cert
100 MARK 0.9999 Gold 32.00 mm PROOF 100 Box/Cert

2020 GERMANIA

1 OZ1 KG

The 2020 design is a definite step-up in design, offering us a much enhanced image of Lady Germania. She is replete with fine details simply not present on the 2019 issue, like the trimming on the clothing, and the arm adornments. The image of the double-headed eagle landing on her outstretched arm is a great touch, and overall, this is a much less formal, and more intimate portrayal.

For 2020, the silver bullion version is joined by a limited run of 200 gold coins in the same one-ounce weight, something that is yet to be repeated. There are still proof gold (and silver) versions, however, which maintain the practice of clean background fields on both faces.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE PACKAGING
5 MARK 0.9999 Silver 38.61 mm B/UNC 25,000 Capsule/Cert
80 MARK 0.9999 Silver 100.0 mm B/UNC 100 Box/Cert
100 MARK 0.9999 Gold 32.00 mm B/UNC 200 Box/Cert
5 MARK 0.9999 Silver 38.61 mm PROOF 1,000 Blisterpack/Cert
100 MARK 0.9999 Gold 32.00 mm PROOF 100 Box/Cert

2021 GERMANIA

The mint tried something new in 2021, and also greatly expanded the range of silver options with the base brilliant uncirculated finish. Joining the one-ounce, were two-ounce, ten-ounce, and one-kilo versions. What was innovative was the way the artwork was used. The 100 mm diameter kilo version has the full vista on it, while each subsequently smaller weight takes a tighter and tighter cropped view. It works superbly, simultaneously preventing detail becoming lost on the small coin, and the design looking too simple on the bigger ones.

The guilloche background is a little busy on this one, due to the plethora of fine detail inherent in the artwork, particularly around the rigging, but we’re really being picky here, as it’s a superb looking coin, especially the smaller pair. Seen on the prow of a ship, she keeps hold of the sword from the 2019 issue, but has switched from the shield to a large fluttering flag in this case. It appears that Lady Germania is starting a journey, and the 2022 release continues with the idea, so perhaps a theme that will run through the series moving forward.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE PACKAGING
5 MARK 0.9999 Silver 38.61 mm B/UNC 25,000 Capsule/Cert
10 MARK 0.9999 Silver 50.00 mm B/UNC 2,500 Blisterpack/Cert
50 MARK 0.9999 Silver 70.00 mm B/UNC 1,000 Blisterpack/Cert
80 MARK 0.9999 Silver 100.0 mm B/UNC 100 Box/Cert
5 MARK 0.9999 Silver 38.61 mm PROOF 1,000 Blisterpack/Cert
100 MARK 0.9999 Gold 32.00 mm PROOF 100 Box/Cert

2022 GERMANIA

Here, Lady Germania has made landfall, with the ship from the 2021 design anchored in the sea behind her. The eagle is back, flying past her, and she again wields the sword and shield. In a great example of just how far the series has progressed, the detail on the shield is leaps ahead of the 2019 debut, even down to featuring a texture behind the eagle symbol. For us at least, the best of the series yet.

As they did with the 2021 release, the four silver issues feature a tighter crop of the one-kilo artwork, although it seems to be a little more subtle this time around. All of them work splendidly, further validating the concept. The two proof coins use the perspective of the one-ounce BU coin, unsurprisingly.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE PACKAGING
5 MARK 0.9999 Silver 38.61 mm B/UNC 25,000 Capsule/Cert
10 MARK 0.9999 Silver 50.00 mm B/UNC 2,500 Blisterpack/Cert
50 MARK 0.9999 Silver 70.00 mm B/UNC 1,000 Blisterpack/Cert
80 MARK 0.9999 Silver 100.0 mm B/UNC 100 Box/Cert
5 MARK 0.9999 Silver 38.61 mm PROOF 1,000 Blisterpack/Cert
100 MARK 0.9999 Gold 32.00 mm PROOF 100 Box/Cert

COMMON OBVERSE DESIGNS

2020+2019

We have to straight up say that the common obverse of this series is gorgeous. Pride of place is occupied by a stylised bicephalous eagle, much like the single-headed one employed by the Roman Empire, which was itself evolved into its double-headed form by the late Byzantine Empire. The Roman Eagle, called the Aquila, was often shown holding thunderbolts in its claws, and that is indeed the case here. They symbolise creation and destruction.

There were originally five animals used by the Romans for their standards, but the eagle’s association with the god Jupiter, meant it rose to prominence, and the others (Minotaur, Wolf, Horse, Boar) were phased out in the late Republican period under Consul-General Gaius Marius. The eagles face different directions, symbolising looking into the past and the future. Olive branches follow the rim of the coin.

The basic design is common to all variants, in both metals. However, the brilliant-uncirculated versions have a textured finish in the background field that we like immensely. For the proof coins, the background field is struck with a clean mirror finish, enhancing contrast, but perhaps losing a little character in the process. Either way, easily one of the best heraldic obverse designs in modern coins, in our opinion. Of note, in 2020, the design was enhanced with more detail, a significant improvement.

PACKAGING

Even though this is fundamentally a bullion series, Germania Mint hasn’t made any compromises when it comes to presentation. Outside the base one-ounce silver bullion variant, the coins are mostly packaged in an attractive gatefold blisterpack, which is heavily themed, and holds a Certificate of Authenticity. The one-kilo silver, and the gold variants are all offered in a wooden box, again with a C.O.A.

The certificates are gatefold, contain the coin specs, and are secured with a large custom hologram. They’re of the same style, irrespective of the type of packaging used.

GALLERY