Respected engraver Joaquin Jimenez, and the workshop of P. de Greef combine talents for AllCollect’s numismatic take on the iconic Brooklyn Bridge

At the time of its opening on May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge, with its main span of 486.3 metres, was the longest suspension bridge in the world. It was also the first fixed crossing over the East River in New York City. Designed by John Augustus Roebling, it had taken 13 years to build, and with its 85-metre tall, neo-Gothic stone towers, quickly became an iconic part of the New York skyline. At a cost of $15.5m USD ($436m USD adjusted for 2021), it’s paid for itself many times over, remaining a powerful draw for tourism to this day.

Continuing its relationship with conjunction with the high-end Belgian engraver and medal maker, P. De Greef, and employing the talents of the Chief Engraver of the Monnaie de Paris, Joaquin Jimenez, Allcollect have debuted the first in their ‘World Famous Bridges’ series, with the aforementioned Brooklyn Bridge as the star. Struck using five ounces of 0.999 fineness silver, it’s a clever design, employing some neat visual tricks, and the handmade style that de Greef are synonymous with.

The first thing you’ll notice is the sky above the skyline of the city – there isn’t one – the coin has been cut away. The backdrop to the bridge is defined by the skyscrapers behind it, all antique-finished, just like the tugboat in the foreground, the latter given a subtle warp to show perspective sympathetic to the coin shape. The bridge itself is gilded, and the water of the East River, coloured with enamel. The bridge perspective is a little unusual, but it all builds into a nice looking view of the city in the early-mid 20th century.

The obverse is also beautifully done, The lightly cropped coat-of-arms of the Democratic Republic of Congo is a nice touch, and the way the skyscrapers sprout from its rim with exaggerated perspective, is superb. An up-the-nose view of the Statue of Liberty cements the location, although the text ‘Brooklyn Bridge New York’, cleverly wrapped around the edge of the skyline, leaves no doubt.

Overall, an impressive piece of numismatic art, dripping with period appeal, and quite different from designs with a similar subject. It comes boxed, with a Certificate of Authenticity, although the serial number (of 750) is engraved into the edge of the coin. The coin is available now for around €750-800.

DENOMINATION 5,000 Francs (Congo)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 155.5 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, shaped, gilding, coloured enamel
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes