We’ve long been fans of the Czech Mints numerous small series of coins themed around everything from nature, to literature, with a fair bit of history thrown in for good measure. Examples, like their Inventions of Leonardo, and Animal Champions, have always impressed with their fine designs, and most of all, the choice of subject. Their latest series looks at the Discovery of America from a European perspective. Yes, we know that man had lived on the continent for millennia, but that takes nothing away from the bravery of the adventurers that set out on these quests.
The first of them was the Norseman, Leif Eriksson, famed for his naval passage to the Eastern coast of North America. He is depicted in side-portrait form, wearing a Viking helmet, sans the ludicrous horns that have no basis in reality. The background field is covered with a stylised sea, upon which sit two Viking Drakkars, a form of longship. It’s quite incredible that these relatively small, open vessels could survive the perils of the North Atlantic, but survive they did, carrying Eriksson’s party across some of the most treacherous waters on Earth. It’s a very pretty, stylised composition by the medal maker Mgr. Petr Horák.
We don’t have images of the obverse yet, but it’s described as having a similar wave pattern on it, along with the obligatory effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. It will be a common one to the series, as will the general layout of the reverse face if the render of the second coin, Christopher Columbus, is any indicator. The coin comes boxed with a very neat booklet filled with images and history, always a nice touch with a coin like this.
There’s a one-ounce silver version with a mintage of just 1,000 pieces, and a quarter-ounce gold variant, capped at 500. There are at least two more coins coming this year, with the imminent arrival of the aforementioned Columbus, and with Amerigo Vespucci landing ashore in October. A nice series, sure to prove popular across the Atlantic.