There have been many ancient gods coins released over the last few years, so many that I’d assume we’d all be suffering from exhaustion at the numbers by now. Remarkably, the sheer quality of most of the designs out there has meant this not only isn’t the case, but new releases are still eagerly awaited. The Choice Mints Valkyrie is one of the years most anticipated coins, along with the Perth Mints take on the Norse Gods earlier in the year.
One of the best series of them all was Scottsdale’s surprise entrant last year. Billed as a 15-coin, 3-per-year set, the series is called Vikings: Gods, Kings, Warriors. That hints that the series is more than just a set of Norse Gods. Like the Legends of Asgard series, it looks at the wider mythology, going even further with a strong sense of actual history being injected in. Last year saw the god Odin, combined with two historical figures, Ragnar Lothbrok and King Cnut. This years sees the god Thor, the king Harald Fairhair, and the warrior Bjorn Ironside. There were initial indications that after the launch of the first trio, the coins would come out individually spread over the year, but that hasn’t turned out to be the case as another trio has debuted simultaneously.
Using an identical format to the epic Biblical Series that Scottsdale also mint, we were very impressed by last years coins when we saw them in Berlin. Great art design, interesting and mixed poses, these are very well implemented coins. This years are no different. The interpretation of Thor is classically Viking in feel, the Harald Fairhair coin brings in modern elements without killing the atmosphere, and the Bjorn Ironside coin depicts a scene popularised in the excellent History Channel series, Vikings, although incorrectly if we’re being honest.
Two ounces in weight, rimless and antiqued, they’re certainly impressive coins. The serial number is struck into the rim like the Bible coins. Packaging is noteworthy, being customised on a per-coin basis and of a high quality. We’d like to see a big version of the box at the end to hold all 15 coins, much like MNI did with the Fantasy Ships series. With six of the fifteen now out, we’re getting a great feel for the series as a whole and in our view it’s a positive one. Coins to come are the gods Loki, Tyr and Freya; the kings Gudfred, Harald Hardrada and Eric Bloodaxe; the warriors Egil Skallagrimsson, Freydís Eiríksdóttir and Ivar the Boneless. Looking forward to them.