Exclusive first look: Striking new two-ounce Achilles Shield is a stunning addition to the stackable silver market

It was only in April that we unveiled the new Doggaebi stackable silver coin from Coins Today Korea, and only a fortnight ago that the kilo variant debuted. These were the first really different competitors to Scottsdales interesting stackable coin concept, whereby the obverse is struck with an incused version of the reverse face, allowing them to loosely lock together and thus ‘stack’.

The Doggaebi was a superb concept, with a unique design, but already, this South Korean producer is back with a new issue that is different again. This time we have a round silver piece – nothing unusual there – but it’s domed to make slotting them together easier. Not a groundbreaking idea, of course, but that isn’t the appeal of this release, the design is.

The level of exquisite detail on this thing is very high for a coin, but for a bullion piece, it’s quite extraordinary. The theme here is Achilles Shield, the one used by the hero to fight Hector, as told in Homer’s ‘Illiad’. Achilles had lent his armour to his close friend Patroclus, who was killed in battle with Hector. Deciding to avenge his friend, Achilles returned to battle, using a shield made for him by the god, Haphaestus.

Unlike much of Greek mythology, Homer goes into great detail on what the shield looked like. he described the centre as being filled with The Earth, sky and sea, the sun, the moon and the twelve constellations, Around that was depicted two city scenes, one of a legal trial, the other of a military seige. Around that was another ring filled with scenes of life, both urban and rural.

The coin seems to have taken close inspiration from the 1820 interpretation of the shields description by Neo-classical Italian painter, Angelo Monticelli. It’s a complex piece of art, so CTK have taken the sensible decision to reproduce as much as possible to the highest standard, rather than compromise it all for the sake of completion. As a result, the outer ring of scenes was omitted, rightly so, in our view. Perhaps if they decide to do a one-kilo variant, as they did with Doggaebi, it can be restored.

We weren’t expecting another stacker coin so soon after Doggaebi, as they’re not very common, but we have to say that this is a stunning piece of coin art. Each unit weighs in at two-ounces of 0.999 silver and has a diameter of 50 mm. There’s a light antique finish which looks excellent in the images. We’d expect this to be priced a little higher than the average – you’d be a bit foolish to expect otherwise – but if the premium isn’t excessive, we’d jump for these all day long. Available to order shortly.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
FINISH Light antique
MODIFICATIONS Domed, high-relief
MINTAGE Unlimited
BOX / C.O.A. No / No