Powercoin’s Bengal Tiger adds building blocks to join puzzles and mosaic as inspirations for eclectic coin designs

We’ve always admired Powercoin’s knack of finding unusual ways to feature popular objects on silver coins, especially their use of mosaic and puzzles to depict fine art, often from lesser-known artists. Those two series have leaned heavily on smartminting’s ability to enable fine, well-defined detail, but the proprietary CIT/BH Mayer tech is also capable of some very impressive levels of high-relief.

The first of Powercoin’s ‘Beloved Building Blocks’ series is leveraging that latter ability to the max, with what is claimed to be an extraordinary fifteen levels of defined relief on the reverse face. As you’ve no doubt guessed from that series title, this one is inspired by the whole Lego and Minecraft styles that remain very popular today, and it’s very distinctive.

To kick off the series, the producer has chosen a Bengal Tiger, quite an ambitious subject for a method based on geometric shapes. From the front, it looks well done and recognisably a tiger, but you get a better idea of how impressive it is when you see it from an angle, as in the image lower down. Collector’s often don’t realise how difficult ultra-high-relief is to pull off to a high standard, but to do so with such crisply defined edges on so small a scale, is doubly so. Likewise, the application of colour on that detail, without drifting into surrounding areas, is also difficult, but again, seemingly handled here with aplomb.

Aesthetically, it’s highly unusual, of course, a decided positive for us, with rich metallic colour enhanced by eschewing the usual white base coat. The proof finish is a bold contrast to the subject, and the background field continues with the ‘pegs’ you’d expect to find on a building block. The obverse carries on the theme, with the shield of the issuing nation, Palau, sitting inside an exploding mass of building blocks. The title, layered as if part of that ‘explosion’ sits on this face as well.

The only downside is this is a five-ounce coin, so you’re looking at circa €600 for it. That does mean, despite the many levels of relief, the coin still manages to stretch to 65 mm in diameter. Even the box looks cool, made to look like a vibrant building block, with a drawer in the front to hold the coin. A themed Certificate of Authenticity is enclosed, rounding out a nicely themed package. A lot of care and attention has been spent on this release, and it shows. We applaud its eclectic nature, and what looks to be an impeccable implementation. Available now.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 155.5 grams
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, Smartminting, Colour
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes