The concepts of good and evil are given numismatic form with a new pair from the Mint of Poland

The Mint of Poland’s latest two-ounce antique-finished coin release is actually a pair of coins, sold seperately, but inextricably linked together. Good and Evil have been concepts for millennia , evolving over the centuries as beliefs and cultural iconography has changed. Visualising that as a pair of coins is fraught with difficulty if you want the idea to be recognisable to as many collectors around the globe as possible.

The Mint of Poland has chosen a safe, if unsubtle pair of subjects to do the honours. Good is depicted as an angelic female, complete with semi deployed wings and a golden sword. The gilding also extends to a halo, a Chi Rho (an early christogram used by the Roman Emperor Constantine I) and a Alpha & Omega symbol (the title of Christ and God in the Book of Revelations).I think it’s safe to assume the focus here is on the Christian interpretation.

The Evil coin is centred on a goat-headed Satanic figure, complete with stylised 666, with a gilded pentagram in the background, along with a mix of satanic elements, mainly skull-based with a bit of torture thrown in. It’s about as subtle as a housebrick to the face, but from an artistic point of view, is certainly packed with high-relief detail and interesting items. The ‘Good’ coin is an attractive piece, but the angels body has some problematic anatomical issues. The sword arm angle would suggest she could scratch her foot without bending over… The face, hair and wings are superb, however.

Each of these two 2 oz silver coins is antique-finished, rimless, and ultra-high relief. There’s a lot to like here, especially if the depiction is one you picture in your own mind. Not perfect, but worthy of consideration, regardless. The coins are sold seperately and come in latex-skin ‘floating frames’ with a Certificate of Authenticity. Available to order now.

GOOD & EVIL: THE CONCEPTS

In religion, ethics, philosophy, and psychology “good and evil” is a very common dichotomy. In cultures with Manichaean and Abrahamic religious influence, evil is usually perceived as the dualistic antagonistic opposite of good, in which good should prevail and evil should be defeated. In cultures with Buddhist spiritual influence, both good and evil are perceived as part of an antagonistic duality that itself must be overcome through achieving Śūnyatā meaning emptiness in the sense of recognition of good and evil being two opposing principles but not a reality, emptying the duality of them, and achieving a oneness. A monism of goodness would guarantee prosperity since only good can exist, whereas a monism of evil would lead to our extinction.

Evil, in a general context, is the absence or opposite of that which is described as being good. It is driven by fear and manifests through violence and division. The Judeo-Christian belief does not give a human form to Satan as they do God, to reinforce the belief that it shouldn’t manifest itself in humans.

Those faithful to God in the Judeo-Christian belief reconcile with the existence of evil by acknowledging that God gave us free will, and since Satan exists, some will be tempted by the Snake with the apple from Adam & Eve. The snake represents a moral code driven by evil, where greatness and prosperity are guaranteed but not the motive, and their actions are a means to some other end that is self-interested. Often, evil is used to denote profound immorality. In certain religious contexts, evil has been described as a supernatural force. Definitions of evil vary, as does the analysis of its motives. However, elements that are commonly associated with evil involve unbalanced behavior involving expediency, selfishness, ignorance, or neglect.

The modern philosophical questions regarding good and evil are subsumed into three major areas of study: meta-ethics concerning the nature of good and evil, normative ethics concerning how we ought to behave, and applied ethics concerning particular moral issues.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION 2,000 Francs CFA (Cameroon)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
DIMENSIONS 50.0 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, Gilding
MINTAGE 500
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
MINT OF POLAND