American Football & Basketball shaped minigold coins (2022 CIT)
We’re going to be honest straight from the start, nobody does minigold coins as well as Liechtenstein-based producer, CIT. While many other mints have embraced the half-gram gold coin format, none have issued so many designs, across so wide a range of subjects, or have so comprehensively integrated them into their wider range. The great majority of CIT’s flagship coin ranges have a minigold companion.
Their efforts take two forms, traditional round coins, varying in diameter from 11 mm to almost 14 mm, and shaped coins, taking on the outline of the subject. Most of the latter are not tied to bigger and more prestigious silver coins, but are issued in their own right. This latest pair sits in that group, part of CIT’s ‘Special Shapes Gold’ range. Latterly, these have concentrated on depicting leisure activities, like a guitar, and a game controller, but there have been everything from animals to transportation over the last few years.
Two new coins debuted last week, we believe the 37th and 38th in the collection, all but two of which issued for Palau (the others were for the Cook Islands). One is in the shape of a basketball, the other an American Football, both hugely popular sports in North America, in particular. They both reach out to 13.92 mm in diameter, big for the format, and both exhibit a lot of the fine detail usually missing at this size. Unusually, none of this series carries a date of issue.
The mintage of each is capped at 15,000 pieces, a nod to their popularity. They only come encapsulated as standard, but a neat little box is available for little money, so ask your dealer to get one when you buy, as they’re worth it. Available now.
30th Anniversary of the Polish Border Guard silver coin (2022 Narodowy Bank)
30th Anniversary of the Polish Border Guard silver coin (2022 Narodowy Bank)
First deployed on 16 May 1991, the Polish Border Guard is tasks with securing the territorial integrity of this Central European nation. Few nations in Europe have had the tumultuous history that Poland has, not just through the 20th century, but for hundreds of years before that. The land and sea border of Poland is currently 3,511 km in length, of which 1,581 km is also the de facto border of the EU. It’s a difficult job in peacetime, but doubly so now, with the war in Ukraine ongoing, so the service personnel of 14,814, of which almost 30% are female, are relied upon heavily to keep Poland safe through the latest crisis, and beyond.
The National Bank of Poland is issuing a new proof silver coin to commemorate 30 years of operation and the reverse face depicts three officers forming a colour guard, with the Polish Border Guard standard in hand. The flag is UV coloured, but the rest of the coin is cleanly struck. The obverse face of the coin shows us a Border Guard on active duty, accompanied by a canine, perhaps a German Shepherd. The coin was designed by Sebastian Mikolajczak.
This is a sterling silver (0.925) coin of half a standard ounce (14.14 grams) in weight. It’s a decent size at 32 mm in diameter, and comes neatly boxed in the typical packaging the NBP employs. Struck by the Mint of Poland, it has a mintage cap of 12,000 pieces, and will be available from 12th May. A timely release, for sure.
Van Gogh Bottlecap coin (2022 Precious Metal Collectors)
In 2016, coin innovators, CIT, released a one-off coin incorporating an unusual design. Struck to look exactly like a bottle cap, it was issued to mark 500 years since the introduction of the Bavarian Purity Law, which strictly regulates what ingredients can be used in beer. It was two years later that this new concept became considerably more popular, when Crown Mint debuted its Coca-Cola bottle cap range. Upping the weight from 2.5 to 6 grams, yet keeping the same size, the range soon grew into a bona-fide series.
Joining the select group of producers that can issue coins in this difficult to strike format, is Singaporean producer, Precious Metal Collectors. It’s a surprising move in some ways, quite the opposite approach to the companies usual output, which has gained kudos for the sheer size enabled by their Bi-Metal Max copper-cored technique. Not only that, the design raises a few eyebrows as well.
Almost every one of these caps to date has depicted something solidly tied to the drinks’ industry, from that Bavarian law, to the recent Pepsi Cola caps, but PMC have opted for a very unusual depiction of the artist, Vincent van Gogh. The picture itself is an old classic, but why it’s on a bottle cap is quite the mystery. We’ve seen big Van Gogh pictures made from bottle caps, but never vice versa.
Anyway, it’s formed from six grams of 0.999 silver, struck to a proof finish, and with a 32.6 mm diameter. The mintage is limited to 5,000 pieces, and it comes boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity. A little esoteric perhaps, but certainly one of the more unusual fine-art coins we’ve seen for a while. Available now.
Mint XXI have joined CIT with a new batch of releases, and as one of the few producers on the same level, we look forward to seeing them every bit as much. We’re obviously swamped with new issues at the moment, but we’ll do our best to filter them in over the next couple of weeks. Fortunately, we have a comprehensive Coin Series Profile to this first look, the 2019 debuted ‘Planets and Gods’ series of three-ounce coloured silver coins.
The latest pair round out the major planetary bodies in our Solar System, and depict Earth and the Moon, respectively. Both are gorgeous looks at the ancient Greco-Roman personifications of those bodies, done in high-relief, and antique finished. Each sits over a coloured background depicting the planet from space. It’s a striking contrast in styles, from the classic, almost statuesque interpretation of the goddess, to the modern view of the planet.
This pair does differ from those that have come before. While the rest of the series have been 55 mm diameter, 93.3 gram (3oz) coins, these two keep the diameter, but are now 62.2 gram (2oz) strikes instead. A welcome change, for us, given modern minting techniques mean coins of this diameter can maintain the levels of relief with less metal than before, so why pay for it?
All told, a pretty series, with much appeal for the classic numismatist, drawing on symbolic deities that have adorned coins for millennia. A great example of the old transferring to the new without heading down the path of gimmickry. Available to order from Top World Coins, and other dealers shortly, with shipping in mid-late June.
Year of the Sweet Rabbit silver and gold coin range (2023 CIT)
Year of the Sweet Rabbit silver and gold coin range (2023 CIT)
Part of yesterday’s Spring Launch at CIT, their annual Lunar Calendar range continued with the debut of a trio of new issues, as varied in format as last year. Headlining the ‘Sweet Rabbit’ range is a super little fully dimensional silver coin, of an ounce in weight. These have always had a quite unique style of their own, and the rabbit is certainly no exception. Issued for Mongolia, it’s without question one of the more distinctive coins in a well populated genre.
A more traditional addition is one of CIT’s many half-gram minigold coins. The producer has a habit of adding one to many of their major releases, and they seem to be extremely popular. It depicts the dimensional coin design on its reverse, and the issuer details, the Bank of Mongolia, on the obverse. Last of the trio is one of the increasingly rare silver coin notes. These are formed in five grams of silver, and reach out to 150 x 70 mm in size. Adorned with a very banknote-like line-art design, it also takes the basic design of the dimensional silver coin for inspiration.
The silver coin has a 999 mintage, with the minigold and the silver foil capped at 5,000 pieces each. We actually have a full profile of this series up on site, hence this quicklook for the new release, and it’s well worth a perusal if you’re one of the many lunar coin collectors out there.
As is typical, a day after we went live with our look at a pair of Titanic anniversary coins, another interesting issue was released, this time by MDM in Germany. It’s a cool piece, worthy of coverage, so while the topic is still fresh in our minds, here it is. This is a five ounce silver issue, and fits into that increasingly popular category of shaped coins, which have become hugely popular over the last few years, encompassing an expansive range of subjects.
We particularly like this one, affording us a perspective view of the whole ship, just at the moment it seems to be striking the iceberg that sent it to its watery grave. It does employ some colouring, which MDM describe as a ‘high-end colour varnish’, but in a very subtle and unobtrusive way, basically just the black tips on the funnels, and the pale blue iceberg. The rendering of the ship itself, looks quite outstanding, full of fine detail, and exhibiting excellent perspective. It’s over 100 mm wide and almost 50 mm high, so a large coin.
The obverse carries a full width, cleanly struck map of the route, including the site of the sinking, also detailed in numeric form. It fits the shape of the coin perfectly, and we particularly like the addition of the Great Lakes in North America, to break up what would have been an expanse of undetailed space. Even the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II sits within a compass rose. It’s all very attractive.
The mintage is set at 750 units, and each proof-like coin comes boxed with a gatefold Certificate of Authenticity. It should be available to pre-order now, with shipping around the middle of the third quarter.
Fender Stratocaster in Surf Green silver coin (2022 MTB/PAMP)
Fender Stratocaster in Surf Green silver coin (2022 MTB/PAMP)
MTB/PAMP are returning to their hit Fender licence with a revival of the two-coin guitar-shaped series that finished in July last year. That series consisted of a one-ounce Stratocaster, and a one-ounce Telecaster guitar. They appeared to sell very quickly indeed, and in conjunction with a small range of solid silver guitar picks, have picked up quite a following with the Fender fans. The licence is back with another guitar shaped coin.
The mint has returned to the most famous of the Fender guitars, the 1954 Stratocaster. This guitar has always been especially iconic, not just because of its quality of sound, but because of its wide range of bright colours, particularly the almost legendary Candy Apple Red, with many of the colours taken from cars, a new culture of ever-growing popularity. One of them, Surf Green, from a 1957 Chevy, has been chosen for this new issue. In most respects, this is identical to the first Stratocaster coin, but as well as the colour, the 75th anniversary logo has gone (for obvious reasons), and the packaging art has changed.
As before, it weighs an ounce of 0.999 silver, is 29.5 x 86.5 mm in size, and is struck to a prooflike finish. It has a mintage of 6,000 pieces, and an SRP of $109.95 USD. A great little piece of memorabilia for a cultural juggernaut, it’s available from today.
As you know, we’ve started to confine our coverage of new Chibi coins to our TV/Film round-up articles, and to the huge Coin Series Profile we have, but we like to give a heads-up when a new subset drops, and today is the day for that. As usual, this pair of coins is the second to launch this month, the mint long ago having settled on four new releases per month, for the most part. The first is the fourth in the Glines & Rhodes distributed ‘Warriors of History’ subset, and is a pretty neat little Viking.
The second is the all new one. Following Halo and Street Fighter II, fighting game Mortal Kombat joins the video game inspired entrants to the Chibiverse. Like Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat has a huge range of characters to draw from, so if it proves popular, this one could run for years. The debut coin features Scorpion, one of the key characters, and one of the longest serving.
Like all the other Chibi coins, these two come well presented in themed display packaging, and have a mintage of 2,000 coins each. Both are available now.
One of the more recent additions to the Perth Mints copious animal-themed bullion coin portfolio, the Wombat series debuted just last year with a neat little silver coin that seemed to be reasonably popular. It’s back again, and it follows the classic Perth Mint process, honed over decades of Koala, Kookaburra, and Lunar coins, of depicting the same animal in a new pose. We had a good idea of what this one would look like, as the coloured proof version appeared for sale first (below).
It’s a nice pose again, changing from 2021’s head-on look, to a side view of the animal. There’s a smattering of habitat to ground the wombat in reality, but overall, collectors of Perth Mint bullion will know the style intimately. There’s just the one-ounce 0.9999 silver variant on offer, and the mintage remains at last year’s 25,000 units. It’s available now from several dealers, with US and Asian distribution being handled by LPM in Hong Kong. We’ve added this one to our comprehensive guide to all the bullion series put out by the Perth Mint outside their core ranges, which is viewable at the link below.
Rectangular Australian Dragon bullion coin (2022 Perth Mint)
Launching in 2018, the Perth Mint’s striking Rectangular Dragon bullion coin series was a pretty departure from the mints typical nature-themed ranges. Available in both gold and silver forms, each an ounce in weight, they carry a new design every year, with quite some variation in artistic style.
The 2022 design by Monique Reeves is a fine one, similar to the 2021 effort by Lucas Bowers, but different enough to have its own distinct flavour. The dragon spirals it’s way down the coin in typical Asian style, chasing the legendary flaming pearl. The obverse is a simple effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, along with all the relevant issue inscriptions.
This isn’t a low mintage series, hitting 250,000 units in silver, and 8,888 in gold., so availability should be easy enough. Another great looking release in an attractive series. Check out the earlier issues in our full profile in the link below. Available now.
A series as old as AgAuNEWS is, Tokelau Sealife continues with a ninth silver release, and a third gold one. Why the difference? In 2020, the series moved away from its originator, Treasures of Oz, and on to APMEX, and with it came a change in design, and the addition of the gold variant, also an ounce in weight. The previous satin finish gave way to an increasingly complex geometric pattern in the background field, along with a prettier obverse design.
The Lionfish adorns the 2022 entrant in a series that will end in 2025, when the twelfth coin debuts. This series has always shown a fine grasp of anatomy, with each subject very well realised, and despite the prominent background, this one seems no different to that. Indeed, the whole thing seems quite fresh and modern in comparison to the early coins, and should build into a neat set.
The 38.6 mm diameter 0.999 silver coin has a nice taut mintage of 10,000 pieces, while the 34 mm diameter 0.9999 gold variant, caps out at a positively microscopic 100 pieces. Botha re APMEXclusives, but you should be able to pick them up elsewhere. We have a Bullion Coin Profile of the series up, so be sure to check out that for details on the other issues, if you’re interested. Available now.
Multi-faceted Animal family – Bald Eagles (2022 Royal Canadian Mint)
Multi-faceted Animal family - Bald Eagles (2022 Royal Canadian Mint)
The Royal Canadian Mint has experimented with, and produced some super coins in the past, using a type of art composed of crystal-like facets. These employed the mint’s ridiculously-named ‘Extraordinarily High-Relief’, and did so excellently, offering animal portraits on clean backgrounds, composed entirely of those facets. The RCM’s latest isn’t as ambitious, ring-fencing the faceted sections to the birds, even though they’re part of a wider scene. The scene, by artist Steve Hepburn, certainly draws comparisons to the one on the legendary American Gold Eagle, but only superficially so.
This is a two-ounce 0.9999 silver coin of 50 mm diameter, and struck to a proof finish. The mintage is capped at 4,500 pieces, and it comes boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity, as you would expect with a $189.95 CAD price-tag. It’s an unusual-looking coin, with a strong contrast between the faceted, and the realistic elements of the design, helped by the differing finishes. Like all good art, its success will be a matter of taste. We like the potential shown here, although there is perhaps a little too much crammed in, but would be happy to see the concept explored further. Available now.
Caravaggio – The Cardsharps 1 oz silver coin (2021 Mint of Poland)
Caravaggio - The Cardsharps 1 oz silver coin (2021 Mint of Poland)
By all accounts, an aggressive and generally unpleasant individual, the late 16th century painter, Caravaggio, transplanted his personality into his art with some aplomb. Having an equally violent visual style, his paintings have become widely regarded as some of the finest works in art history, easily standing alongside those of Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo, for example.
The Mint of Poland launched a new series of one-ounce gilded silver coins late in 2021, when it debuted two designs featuring the work of the master. These square coins simply reproduced one of Caravaggio’s classics, lightly cropped to fit within a frame formed in the coin’s metal. A simple concept, but very effective, made doubly so by the sheer intensity of Caravaggio’s work.
This third issue is more of the same, although a little more light-hearted than Medusa. Painted around 1594, The Cardsharps depicts cheating at a card game. Full of his trademark vibrant colour, the scene has huge character, and is a distinctive choice for a coin. Art on coins is a staple of the numismatic world, and these will no doubt have tons of appeal in that market. The mintage is limited to just 500 pieces, and it comes in a latex-skin ‘floating frame’. Available now.
Easily one of our favourite bullion coin series of the last few years, Scottsdale Mint’s brilliant Egyptian Relics series finally gets its 2021 entrant with the release of Anubis. For those unfamiliar with them, these are chunky five-ounce, antique-finished coins with a ‘chiselled’ edge style, as if hewn from a rock. The series debuted in 2016, and was joined by a Chinese Terracotta Army themed series in 2018, although there have only been two of those issued to date.
Each issue reproduces, in style, the hieroglyphic art that adorns so many temple and tomb walls across Egypt, and for this eighth design, the jackal-headed god, Anubis, is the striking subject. Lord of the Underworld until replaced in Egyptian mythology by Osiris, he was associated with mummification and embalming. There’s a classic effigy portrayal on the coin, with the background covered by a hieroglyph filled wall. It’s all top stuff.
Just the single weight (5 oz) and finish, the coin is issued for Chad and has a mintage of just 5,000 pieces. Available to order now, it will ship in 1-3 weeks. Check out our full Coin Series Profile for this outstanding bullion coin range.
Biblical Series 42 The Transfiguration of Jesus silver coin (2021 Scottsdale Mint)
After a long Covid-induced delay, Scottsdale finally round out the 2021 schedule of its ten-year, sixty-coin Biblical Series of two-ounce silver coins. We’ve covered all of these to date, as we do get a good few questions about their availability, so if you want to know more about the other 41 coins released to date, feel free to head on over there for a full overview.
The 42nd coin is called ‘The Transfiguration of Jesus’ which alludes to a Biblical event where Jesus, Peter, Paul, and James pray on a mountain, and Jesus starts shining with rays of light, whereupon Moses and Elijah appear and converse with him. I’m sure Christians will know the story better already. As always, the coin is a cropped reproduction of one of Gustave Dore’s much-admired woodcuts, and a good one at that. If you’re going to do a series like this, quality source material is essential, and Scottsdale’s series has had no problems on that score.
We guess the 2022 run of six coins will start soon, and no doubt Scottsdale Mint will do what they can to catch up to the original release schedule. There are just three years to go, and I have to admit to not thinking a series this ambitious would get this far, especially in light of their cancelled Vikings series, but kudos to them for sticking with what is obviously a popular, and very well produced coin range. It should ship in 2-3 weeks, and has promotional pricing for the first month, we believe.
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