Pressburg Mint adds a view of Mars and the Perseverance Rover to its eclectic silver bullion coin portfolio

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.


Mars has fascinated scientists for centuries, and has long been thought capable of supporting life. The Perseverance rover, part of NASA’s Mars 2020 Mission, was sent to explore the Red Planet on July 30th, 2020. Its goals, as stated by NASA, are to identify past environments capable of supporting microbial life, seek signs of possible past microbial life in those habitable environments, collect and store core samples, and test oxygen production in the atmosphere. In order to have the best chance of achieving these mission goals, NASA sought to land the rover in Jezero Crater, a crater thought most likely to show these signs as it included inflow and outflow channels as well as an evident delta deposit, all indications that it was at one time a massive lake. On February 18th, 2021 confirmation that the rover had successfully landed at this location was received at 20:55 UTC.

The design of the coin seeks to incorporate as many details of the landing as possible for a true symbolic piece to commemorate this feat. The obverse is an image of the rover landing on the surface with the assistance of the rocket-powered descendant stage. This stage was designed to counter the gravitational pull of the landing by creating upward force using jet propulsion. Surrounding the rover is a stylized image of the parachute, which also assisted int he landing. The parachute is unique in that it contained code which was later deciphered by internet users. The words “Dare Mighty Things” as well as the coordinates for the laboratory where the rover was designed are seen on the parachute and coin. The reverse features a click set to the time we received confirmation of the landing. It also features symbols of the development of life on earth, which, like the parachute, were secretly included on the mission. These are included around the edge of the camera on the rover itself.

DENOMINATION $2 NZD (Niue) $250 NZD (Niue)
COMPOSITION 0.9999 silver 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.75 mm 32.0 mm
FINISH B / Unc B / Unc
MINTAGE 10,000 100
BOX / C.O.A. No / No No / No