In a first for the Swiss Mint, they’re issuing a platinum coin. Struck in 13.89 grams of 0.9995 platinum, it’s not only is made of the metal, it has it as its subject as well. The reverse face of the coin consists of a mix of chemical symbolism and data, including the metals atomic weight, position in the Periodic Table, and elemental symbol. The obverse is a standard Swiss Mint one, the producer not known for deviation in that regard.
This 25 mm diameter proof-finish coin has a mintage of 999 pieces, and comes boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity. Designed by artist Remo Mascherini, whose mintmark is placed to the bottom right, this is a clean, on-point coin that should have appeal to the science crowd. Available from today in the Swiss Mint e-store for 799 CHF.
Well, 2022 is here, and it seems the Chibi juggernaut isn’t going to be slowing down for it. The four issues per month schedule will be continuing in January, and as usual, there will be two pairs issued, one early, one late in the month. More importantly, three of the four will be launch coins in new subseries, including both of those we’re showing today.
Star Wars, and The Mandalorian, have both had subseries made for them, so it’s no surprise the latest Disney Star Wars TV show, The Book of Boba Fett, is also getting the Chibi treatment. Boba Fett himself is the obvious first coin, and that is indeed the case. It’s different from the one in the core Star Wars series, at least from the head down, but it’s instantly recognisable. It has to be, or you risk the ire of the fanbase!
The second, early January release is far more interesting. Almost all Chibi coins are tied to one media franchise or another, so it’s a pleasure to see something different. The NZ Mint is returning to its Warriors of History theme, last seen on a one-ounce coin series in 2016. The Japanese Samurai warrior is the first, and it looks to be a first class reimagining. If they follow the schedule of that earlier series, the Viking will be next, but that’s just our guess.
Both coins are available now, and have been added to our uber-epic Chibi Coin Series Profile.
Biblical Series 41 St Paul Shipwrecked (2021 Scottsdale Mint)
Coin 41 of the 60 that will make up Scottsdale Mint’s decade-long homage to the Biblical works of 19th century French woodcut artist, Gustave Dore, has launched today. We’ve been covering this series of two-ounce silver coins since it debuted in 2015, and they’ve been popular enough that we get asked when the next one is due. This coin is actually the penultimate 2021 release, delayed because of our insidious little viral nemesis.
The coin is titled ‘St Paul Shipwrecked’, and is one of the better looking in the series, for me. There are a lot of things going on within the artwork, and it’s made the transition to the circular coin format with aplomb. Very nice. Packaging remains with the cardboard book-style box, and the mintage stays the same at 1,499 pieces. Early buyers of this should also enjoy a lower price. Check out our full Coin Series Profile of the range.
Launching in late September 2021, Cambodia’s debut bullion coin series got off to a good start with the first of the countries ‘Lost Tigers of Cambodia’ series. Depicting a portrait of a tiger, surrounded by a wreath of leaves, it sat on the reverse face of either a one-ounce silver coin, or a one-ounce gold one. Now, the design is back on a one-ounce 0.999 silver proof coin, struck in high-relief.
We’ve always felt these high-relief versions show off designs like these at their best, much like the Perth Mint’s many offerings, and while the official image isn’t really that good, we’d be surprised if this wasn’t a good-looking, classically-styled coin in hand. Only 500 will be struck, and they come neatly boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity.
Also new today, and something we’ll cover in a bullion coin round-up later this week, is a five-ounce silver bullion version of the original. This expansive 65 mm diameter variant is also capped at just 500 pieces, and is supplied encapsulated only. Both coins, along with the original pair, are available to order direct from LPM, or from several bullion stockists worldwide.
Universe – Black Hole silver coin (2021 Mint of Gdansk)
Universe - Black Hole silver coin (2021 Mint of Gdansk)
If you want a big subject for your coins, it doesn’t get any bigger than the Universe. The Mint of Gdansk debuted a new coin in June 2019 that attempted the almost impossible feat of trying to depict the Big Bang on a 50 mm disc of silver. They actually did an admirable job, with a blisteringly bright explosion in the middle of the concave reverse face, complete with rays of light extending to the rim, and a nice use of perspective enhanced by the depiction of planetary debris, and the use of a piece of actual meteorite in the centre.
Fast-forward to December 2021, and the second issue in the ‘Universe’ series has sailed into orbit. Continuing the theme of big celestial events and objects, the producer has gone with Black Holes as a subject. These mysterious and staggeringly powerful phenomena make a fine inspiration for a coin, and actually fits the design ethos put in place for the first coin, really well. This is also a concave coin with a piece of meteorite at the centre, but the fluorescent colour is done in such a way as to suggest a gravity well ‘sucking’ in everything around it. There isn’t a pit in the coin centre, but with the clever use of colour shading, and contour lines, you’d think there was. A pretty design.
The obverse has the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, who we’re beginning to think may pre-date the universe, in the middle, surrounding by a swirling vortex, again hinting at that gravity well. It’s particularly cool they’ve gone to the effort of making a custom obverse for the coin, rather than recycling the Big Bang one. This is a two-ounce silver coin, antiqued and with a mintage of 500 pieces. It comes boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity, and should start to ship in February. A great addition to the series.
Velociraptor and Chinese Dragon Egg gilded variants (2022 Precious Metal Collectors)
Earlier this year, Precious Metal Collectors debuted a very cool Velociraptor Egg coin, shaped to depict a hatchling emerging from its egg. An unusual concept, done to encompass both sides of the coin for added realism, it was something different from the norm, and was followed up in September by a similarly realised Chinese Dragon egg design. Both of these were antique-finished.
Adding to the 500 pieces of each issued at the time, PMC have now added partly gilded, and fully gilded variants of both designs, each of which adds another 500 pieces to the total mintage. Whether you like the originals or the gilded versions is a matter of preference, but the choice is there to take. Fuller details at the links to the original coin articles.
MTB-PAMP have made quite the splash with their interesting homage to candy behemoth PEZ. With each release selling out in short order, it’s clear the concept has legs, so in January of 2021, they added another iconic sweet replica to their silver bullion range – Sweethearts. Following the same idea, these are 1:1 replicas of the originals, which has required a move from the PEZ format of 6 x 5 gram ‘pills’, to one of 3 x 10 grams instead. The end result is still 30 grams, of course.
The first set of three had individual messages struck into them, and that’s the case again, although the messages are different. The packaging is identical, outside of some added colour on the front, and it’s very neat, with an excellent custom capsule holding the trio. PEZ fans will love it, no doubt, others may need more convincing, but if it’s originality you’re after, this has it in spades. Available to pre-order from today. Check out our article on the first set for more information on the range, and our guide to the PEZ releases.
Silver coin notes enjoyed a big flurry of activity just a couple of years ago, headed by the New Zealand Mint and, to a lesser extent, CIT. For a short time, it looked like they were going to be huge, but interest tapered off quickly, resulting in a sparse release schedule these days. That’s a shame, as despite our agreement that these were not the ‘next big thing’, there’s still a welcome place for the format, exemplified by some fine map, and film poster offerings.
MDM also dabble in the format, their latest being a Harry Potter themed three-gram silver note, tagged as the first in a series of multi-franchise issues. The second is now here, and has made the jump to another fantasy universe, Lord of the Rings. It doesn’t seem aimed at any specific book, but rather showcases the legendary ring that sits at the core of this epic literary work.
There’s a colour application on both sides of this prooflike note, and it comes presented in a themed envelope-style sleeve, and with the mintage set at 20,000 pieces. There should be at least one more note to come in this series, one featuring another of the big fantasy franchises.
Special Shapes Minigold – Four new designs (Palau CIT)
Special Shapes Minigold - Four new designs (Palau CIT)
Probably the most enthusiastic of the minigold producers, CIT have a really wide range of traditional, and more eclectic half-gram gold coins, going back over a decade. We were first attracted to the concept by the excellent Ancient Roman inspired series, ‘Coins of the Roman Empire’, that were issued between 2009 and 2012, but numerous coin issues by CIT in recent years often come accompanied by a minigold.
In this case, however, we have a custom series not associated with one of their many regarded numismatic ranges. Special Shapes Gold is exactly as the name suggests. A collection of minigold coins struck in various shapes, all eminently affordable examples of the type, and each having potential in the jewellery market as well. The first of these appeared in 2007, and there’ve been 35 issues since, the latest being the four released here.
There’s something for everyone in the range, with this new batch offering designs for the leisure crowd. Perhaps not everyone has a boat, but footballs and games consoles, for sure. As for guitars, I recently bought a small £25 stick vacuum cleaner to keep the usual PC office dust down better, and was sent an £80 Death-Metal electric guitar by mistake, that they told me to keep. Now I’m harbouring plans to be the next frontman for AC/DC, and the Mrs is looking for a hitman…
Available to order now, these 0.5 gram Palau-issued coins each have a 15,000 mintage. I feel we should have a profile of these out later in January, perhaps, or a general minigold round-up like our Perth Mint bullion guide, for all coins in the format released per calendar year.
Rose Bouquet copper coin (2022 Precious Metal Collectors)
Rose Bouquet copper coin (2022 Precious Metal Collectors)
With their silver over copper ‘Bi-Metal Max’ coin format allowing the creation of impressive coins at relatively affordable prices, Singaporean producer Precious Metal Collectors have captivated collectors with the striking design and execution over the last few years. While they also produce some equally well realised solid silver coins of smaller size, they’ve never gone in the other direction to make a full copper coin – until now.
Rose Bouquet is struck in 11.5 oz of 999 copper. It gets its similar look to PMC’s other coins by being silver plated and then antiqued. In this case, there’s also colour on the reverse face. At 80 mm in diameter, and thick with it, this is no shrinking violet, but a very affordable way to get a high-end style numismatic, at a lower-end price.
As for the design itself, it’s okay. It looks well detailed, with high-relief and vibrant colour, but it does lack a focal point for the eye to draw onto. This is aimed at the gift market, we think, and it’s lushly packaged, with a mintage of only 500 pieces. We just wish they’d been something else there to break up the preponderance of identical flowers. As a coin to give a loved one, however, it does the job admirably, and will leave enough in the budget to take your significant other for a slap-up meal at Mrs Miggins Pie Shop. Available now.
The fourth in the Crown Mint’s Marvel Mini Hero series of shaped one-ounce coins joins Captain America, Iron Man, and Black Panther as it works its way through an ambitious 24-coin program. Like those, Thor Odinson is a very neat and well done depiction of a hugely popular character done in an almost TV animation style. It works especially well in this case.
The proof coloured coin comes packaged in a custom blister pack with a silicone capsule, which can be collected in a themed box ($29.95 USD) capable of holding up to 12 of the coins. The series is available on a subscription model, with approximately one new issue per month (although Covid has messed with that schedule a little, of course.), and each issue weighs in at $99.95 USD. The mintage is capped at 2,500 pieces, and it’s available to order now.
Just sneaking into 2021 is the last pair of the New Zealand Mint’s ‘Chibi’ coins, a year that has seen over 40 of them be issued. In light of that, we’re not going to dwell on them too much, and suggest heading over to our very comprehensive profile of the series for more information (link below).
The two released this time are Gimli from Lord of the Rings, and a pretty cool Spock, from the Original Star Trek show. It’s worth noting the box for Spock specifically states ‘The Original Series’, so it’s possible we’ll see others like the Next Generation appear in 2022. What else, who knows?
Coca Cola World Edition gold bottlecap coins (2021 Crown Mint)
One of the more unusual coin series of recent years, the Crown Mint’s bottle cap coin homage to Coca-Cola was a popular item in 2018, that reached new heights with an interesting ten coin series through 2020. Called ‘World Edition’, it reproduced caps from ten different and diverse nations around the world, all done in colour on silver. After a short hiatus, the series is going back to the beginning, but this time is being minted in fine gold, and without colour.
There are two out at the moment, China and Israel, each weighing 12 grams and struck to a proof finish, and the rest should follow on a semiregular basis. Also unusual is the way they’re made available. Each will be on sale for just 30 days at the mint, and the mintage will not exceed 100 pieces. Packaging is heavy on the Coca-Cola branding, and there’s a matching, themed certificate as well.
We’ve added these two to our big guide to the original silver and gold issues, as well as the silver World Edition, as well as the last silver coin in that set, Bangladesh, which we missed at the time. An eclectic range, for sure, but one aimed at a surprisingly large number of Coca-Cola collectors.#
It was back in June 2020 that we covered the first of Mint XXI’s new ‘Goddesses of Health’ range of 50 gram, 50 mm diameter silver coins. We had to laugh about the unfortunate timing of the release, just as a global pandemic took hold, but it was a very vibrantly coloured, antique-finished coin, with a bit of a Victorian-era artistic style. They started off in the Greco-Roman world, but true to their word, the series has trotted off around the globe to encompass a wide selection of cultures.
We’ve had Slavic, Norse, Mayan, and Celtic goddesses since then, and this sixth coin in the series has landed in Asia, more specifically the Hindu world, especially around Northern India. Shitala is depicted holding a pot and a broom, as she often is in her mythology, and her image is often carried as a lucky talisman. She is said to cure ‘poxes, sores, ghouls, pustules and diseases’ (obviously except Covid…) and was born of a sacrificial fire.
Again, this is a bright, colourful design, and while the subjects vary considerably, Mint XXI has managed to depict them all with a consistent artistic style. We particularly like the subtly different border designs on each coin, which draw from the culture that worshipped the specific goddess. Boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity, the coin has a mintage of 999 pieces and is available to pre-order now.
Today sees the launch of Scottsdale Mint’s fifth release in its African Leopard series of limited mintage bullion coins. Issued for the African state of Ghana, this is now a range of one ounce gold (0.9999), and one-ounce silver (0.999) bullion coins, each year carrying a different design. Mintages are fairly low on the 2021 silver coin at just 20,000 pieces, while the gold, a relatively new addition to the range, stays at a miniscule 100 units. The silver numbers since the series debut have varied from 50,000 to just 8,500 units, strangely never having had the same mintage twice.
The design this year is okay. We like the pose they went for, but the lack of habitat/environment, something the series has always had, is detrimental to it, in our view, as is the cut-off front leg. It would have grounded the unusual angle and excellent animal rendering much better than the blank background field used here, even if just a rock and a few plants. Nevertheless, there’s plenty here to like, especially the gold mintage! Available now, the silver is supplied encapsulated, and the gold comes boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity.
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