It’s to our discredit that we haven’t covered as much of the Pressburg Mint’s output as we should, but this new release has given us a kick up the butt towards rectifying that. The mint has an unusual portfolio of coins, mainly divided into themed series, like Terra, Chronos, Vivat Humanitus, and Icon, all of which are quite unlike the output of their competitors. Continuing with that, they’ve partnered with APMEX to release a coin in a genre that’s quite under-represented in bullion – space exploration.
The Mars 2020 program from NASA has the goal to identify possible signs of microbial life on the Red Planet, and landed in the Martian crater Jazero on 18 February 2021. There have been some extraordinary images sent back already, and the range of equipment being used to do so is quite fascinating, especially the experimental helicopter Ingenuity. The subject of this coin is the main Mars Rover, Perseverance, responsible for doing the research. This one-tonne vehicle is a development of the earlier Curiosity rover.
The reverse face features a distorted perspective view of the rover’s dramatic landing. It looks good, offering a different view from the normal, staid depiction you’d expect. The inscriptions around it are the mission motto ‘DARE MIGHTY THINGS’ and the coordinates of the lab that built Perseverance. The mission motto “Dare Mighty Things” is displayed around the rover, along with coordinates to the laboratory where the rover was designed and tested. To be honest, it’s a little overpowering when combined with the ‘zoo’ lines, but Pressburg do like to pack in the detail. That also extends to the obverse, which is awash with little details, including a clock fixed at the landing time, interspersed with icons symbolising evolution. Fortunately, that stops at 11, as we have a nasty feeling that 12 might just be a mushroom cloud… 😉
There are two encapsulated variants on offer, both a troy ounce in weight. The 0.9999 silver coin has a mintage of 10,000 pieces, while the 0.9999 gold tops out at a tiny 100 units. Both are available to order direct from APMEX right now. Overall, a neat coin with a refreshingly original subject. Hopefully we can get one in hand to get some better images of it.