Precious Metal Collectors heads into space with a mixed trio of new silver coins encompassing multiple techniques
We’re seeing a small resurgence in interest for coins with an astronomical theme, and Precious Metal Collectors (PMC), usually focused mainly on the world’s various mythologies, with a smattering of art thrown in, have jumped in with three new issues, each completely different in design and format. Indeed, not only are they different in style, they also target different aspects of the field, from human achievement, through the planets, on onto the galaxy itself.
PMC are still a relatively young producer, but they’ve certainly carved out a unique niche for themselves, with some large-scale, ambitious numismatics, often employing their ‘Bi-Metal’ process whereby silver is clad over a copper core to increase size. In fact, one of the issues we’re looking at here, the Earth Puzzle coin, use this process, although in a smaller form.
Variety is the spice of life, as the old saying goes, and we’ve got that here, with a warped coin, a shaped coin, and one of the aforementioned copper-cored coins making up a neat selection. It’s good to see this innovative producer expand its library away from the ancient world, and into the modern one.
2022 THE MILKY WAY
Our very own backyard, the Milky Way, is the subject of the first of this trio. A barred spiral galaxy some 100,200-200,00 light years in visible diameter, it is home to our own solar system. Up to the 1920’s, it was believed that the Milky Way contained all the stars in the universe – something we now know to be comically inaccurate.
That takes nothing away from its sheer scale, regardless. It’s believed that there are between 100 billion and 400 billion stars in our galaxy, with at least as many planets. Modern analysis even hints that the Milky Way may even be considerably wider than current thought suggests – as much as 2 million light-years. It is part of a group of galaxies called the Virgo Supercluster, itself a part of the Laniakea Supercluster. The sheer scale of the cosmos is quite simply breathtaking. It’s a pity we don’t look after our part of it a little better than we do…
The coin itself is formed in the popular two-ounce silver format, and from the face-on views, looks like a standard circular strike. However, when viewed from the side, you can see it’s anything but. PMC are calling this a ‘s-shape’ strike, which in a subtle way is spot-on, managing to ape the form of the galaxy in reality. It isn’t an extreme look, but it does make a nice change from the domed coins that have been a reasonably regular sight in this genre.
The design is very clean, holding a coloured image of the galaxy on the reverse face, complete with a nice level of surface texture enhancing the natural sweep of the galaxies spiral arms. While the reverse face sticks firmly with a natural look, we’ve gone all scientific with the uncoloured obverse. Here we see a map, complete with named locations and a scale, all radiating out from our own star. Very neat. It all comes boxed with a C.O.A., and has a mintage of 500 pieces.
2022 EARTH PUZZLE
Next up is one of PMC’s copper-cored ‘Bi-Metal Max’ coins. These often hit some hefty weights, over 30 ounces of copper, in fact, but this is a more nimble affair with a single ounce of silver over 4.5 ounces of copper. Despite that, it reaches a very healthy 60 mm in diameter, and as you can see from the images below, is a thick beastie as well.
The subject is our own little blue marble, Planet Earth, but it’s been depicted in the style of a jigsaw puzzle. Popularised by Powercoin and Numiartis, it’s a simple concept, and we’ve not seen it used with this kind of subject before. The radial patterning of the pieces is a nice touch. The colour application doesn’t seem to match the best of the new high-res digital processes out there, if the images here are a reliable indicator, but does a decent job regardless.
The obverse has a more generic look to it than much of PMC’s output, so perhaps this is the first in a new series, and this design will be common to them all. It’s a neat design, even carrying the puzzle piece effect over to the national emblem of Chad, something rarely done on coins. It has a mintage of 999 pieces, and is available now.
2022 ASTRONAUT ON THE MOON
The last of the trio we’re looking at is a straightforward shaped silver coin, of two-ounce weight. It’s an attractive piece, depicting an astronaut walking on the moon surface. The style of suit has hints of the Apollo era, appropriately enough, and there appears to be decent levels of high-relief employed in the design. It isn’t a complex design, but it depicts its subject perfectly. We like this one.
There are two versions of the coin, with no difference in specification or mintage outside a colour application on one of them. Both are antique-finished, but the coloured coin has the areas representing space, highlighted in black. Either version looks good, although we have a mild leaning towards the coloured one this time. The antique application seems relatively light in the video below, so the contrast with the black is greater than you would expect.
|MODEL||MILKY WAY||EARTH PUZZLE||MOON ASTRONAUT|
|DENOMINATION||10,000 Francs (Chad)||5,000 Francs (Chad)||10,000 Francs (Chad)|
|COMPOSITION||0.999 silver||0.999 silver / 0.999 copper||0.999 silver|
|WEIGHT||62.2 grams||31.1 grams (4.5oz Cu)||62.2 grams|
|DIMENSIONS||60.0 mm||60.0 mm||34.0 x 60.0 mm|
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