This first coin looks superb. I wasn’t sure what it was meant to be on first viewing, but then I had no idea what about the finds at Sanxingdui. Now I do, it’s easy to see the inspiration, and just what a terrific choice of subject it is. It never ceases to amaze at how numismatics can inspire the pursuit of knowledge. The reproduction of a mask seems not to be of a specific example, but of the find as a whole, with the mix of antiqued and gilded finishes working great together. It’s a striking piece and very distinctive.
The obverse carries a simplified map of the Northern Hemisphere with some small icons representing the sites of ancient civilisations, of there are four, including this one. Egypt, Mesoamerica, and what looks to be the Indus Valley. The effigy of QEII is ring-fenced in its own area, along with the issue inscriptions.
The two ounce 0.999 silver coin is presented in a floating frame for easy display, and has a mintage capped at 500 pieces. It’s from a Chinese producer (World Coin Appreciation, we believe), who are relatively new, but have a few releases behind them. As we said, this looks to be a fine release, certainly in terms of subject and appearance and a few dealers are stocking it at around the €220 mark. It should ship late next month. It will be interesting to see what they do with the equally distinctive Egyptian and Aztec cultures, given both are also well known for their sculpted heads.