Mint XXI’s expansive look at the world of Greek Mythology continues with the third trilogy of new releases joining the pantheon
Last September, Mint XXI launched its ambitious new 36 coin ‘Greek Mythology’ series with three issues, and followed it up in December with a second trio. Now, the third is here. The series will be released over a four-year period using three different coin weights – 1 oz, 2 oz, and 3 oz – they employ high-relief, antique-finishing, and gilded highlights to take us on a journey through the myths and legends of the Ancient Greek civilisation.
Each batch has a different mix of weights, the first including one of each, the second a pair of 2 oz coins, but no 3 oz. We’re back at one of each this time, and there’s a Titan, a monster, and a mortal for subjects. All follow a consistent artistic style, and all are, again, first-class, Mint XXI clearly has a fine grasp of high-relief, and the subtleties of restrained enhancement – in this case, gilding. Unfortunately, like the second tranche of coins, we only have 2D renders, but I’d recommend a look at the first batch at the link above to see just how well realised they are. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how this trio will turn out to look in hand.
Each coin comes individually boxed, the smallest in a standard type, the bigger in etched wooden boxes, but each has a Certificates of Authenticity within, and themed outer shippers. There are some innovative wooden collector frames, each holding nine coins, and all able to join together to form a panoramic vista. This will come with selected three-ounce coins, and the availability is capped at 333 pieces – the same as the 3 oz mintage.
We’re really impressed with this series. It’s a shame we only have renders at the moment, but be assured, when we get images of the finished items, we’ll collate them into one of our Coin Series Profiles. This looks like a series that warrants closer following, and that’s our best way to do so. Available to order now.
PROMETHEUS (3 oz)
The tale of Prometheus is quite the tragic one, and unpleasant in a way the Greek myths are particularly adept at. The Titan god of fire made the mistake of giving the gift of it to mankind, leading to the rise of technology and civilisation itself. The boss of the Greek gods, Zeus, upon learning this, decided to punish Prometheus. He was bound to a rock with an eagle, which would consume his liver. The liver would grow back, only to be eaten again the next day – for 30,000 years! Great if you’re the eagle, not so great if you’re the Titan of Fire…
The coin design encapsulates the myth perfectly, without getting gory, The use of the signature gilding for the fire is a particularly nice touch, as it is the central element of the story. The people crying out in thanks stand in stark contrast to those on the Medusa coin, a great example of scene building with peripheral elements.
MEDUSA (2 oz)
Good to see a character as well known as Medusa getting a larger canvas to appear on. The depiction is excellent, and she is literally covered in coiling snakes. The wings are an unusual touch, as they’re usually left off many depictions, but the gorgons were said to be winged monsters.
Three people, no doubt about to turn into stone, look on in horror at the beautiful, but simultaneously horrifying female creation. Of the three designs here, this is the one we feel will look the most impressive in reality, the multiple layers of relief imparting an interesting sense of depth. Can’t wait to see it.
ORPHEUS (1 oz)
For the first two rounds of issues, the smallest of the coins featured one of the more brutal inhabitants of Greek mythology (Cerberus or Cyclops), but that type of figure in this trio was represented by the two-ounce Medusa. Instead, the Thracian bard who travelled with Jason and the Argonauts is the star, the creator of the Orphic mysteries, based around animal sacrifice.
The coin depicts Orpheus, saddened by the loss of his wife, Eurydice, playing a gilded harp, and surrounded by a varied group of animals. He was soon to descend into Hades to restore his wife to mortality. The depiction of Orpheus is quite sublime, you can almost feel the anguish on his face. We’ll be interested to see how it makes the transition to reality.
|DENOMINATION||1,000 Francs CFA (Cameroon)||2,000 Francs CFA (Cameroon)||3,000 Francs CFA (Cameroon)|
|COMPOSITION||31.1 grams of 0.999 silver||62.2 grams of 0.999 silver||93.3 grams of 0.999 silver|
|DIMENSIONS||32.0 mm||50.0 mm||55.0 mm|
|MODIFICATIONS||High-relief, gilding||High-relief, gilding||High-relief, gilding|
|BOX / C.O.A.||Yes / Yes||Yes / Yes||Yes / Yes|
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