Spring Launch Special: MDM debuts some of the quirky issues it’s known for, and here are three that caught our eye
Spring Launch time continues, and we carry on chipping away at the huge wave of new issues. After a look at three from CIT earlier today, we continue with a look at a second trio of coins, this time from German mint, MDM. This producer has a reputation for issuing some very quirky designs, often pushing the envelope in different directions from others. The three we’ve chosen are examples of that off-field choice of format, and/or subject.
All three successfully merge their subject with their design in its purest form, no matter how far that might take them away from the typical round coin format that forms the basis of the numismatic world today. You have to admire that ambition, even if some of them are a little too weird for you. Next to come is Mint XXI. Enjoy…
75th ANNIVERSARY OF VINYL LP’S
Who doesn’t look back fondly to the vinyl era of music? There was a natural imperfection to the sounds that emanated from a turntable, drawing strength from all those little flaws that you often didn’t notice individually, but contributed to an appealing sound nevertheless. The turntable and the vinyl record are in the midst of a renaissance, with people tired of the often overly clinical, substandard streaming quality we’ve come to accept as the norm these days.
The vinyl LP is now 75 years old, and this three-ounce silver coin celebrates the milestone by reproducing the classic turntable of the early vinyl era. Complete with the ‘S’ tone arm, and the speed selector, it looks bang-on. The gilded record on the platter is nicely detailed, complete with grooves for both the music, and the track changes, as well as the obligatory label. How cool is that? The obverse, also antique-finished, has a background field covered with musical notation. We like this one, and those that picked up WCA’s cassette tape homage would probably love to add this one to it.
|$5 Barbados||93.3 g of 0.999 silver||60.0 x 60.0 mm||Antique, gilding||999|
We’ve become used to some weird and wonderful fully dimensional coins over the last few years, but this one is a little more unusual than most. Celebrating the increasing popularity of skateboarding, now on a high after decades of videogame cool, to the point it was an Olympic event at the 2020 games, it takes the route of simply reproducing one.
Formed from an ounce of fine silver, it carries two sets of working wheels (not made of silver) on the obverse face, and has the two raised ends of an actual skateboard on the reverse. It certainly looks the part, although we’d have liked some engraved artwork on that reverse face, in that traditional skateboard style. Not a coin for everyone, of course, but for sports fans, a distinctive treat for the collection.
|$5 Samoa||31.1 g of 0.999 silver||78.73 x 19.97 mm||Antique, Iron wheels||1,999|
MONTGOLFIER BROTHERS HOT AIR BALLOON
The Wright Brother’s, and their seminal powered flight, are no stranger to the coin world, but the 18th century aviation pioneers, the French Montgolfier brothers, are not as well represented in numismatics. MDM are rectifying that with a coin designed around the balloon they took to the skies in. It’s amazing to think that, in this early age of pioneering aviation experimentation, anyone would take the time to bling up their equipment as much as this pair did, but looking at it, we’re kinda glad they did.
The two-ounce coin issue is shaped like the balloon, a model of which resides in the Science Museum in London. It’s richly coloured, quite extravagant, and quite ridiculous. It amazes me it ever got off the ground, but kudos to MDM for going all-in with it, right down to the Montgolfier pair in what passed for a basket. Clearly they didn’t quite grasp the whole concept of weight is bad, but they’re remembered 240 years later, so who am I to question? It’s easy to say the design of the coin is perhaps aimed at the ‘Around the World in 80 days’ fantastical crowd, but this is what it actually looked like. A neat science coin.
|25 Francs Burundi||62.2 g of 0.999 silver||45.0 x 65.0 mm||Antique, lacquer, colour||1,783|
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