The European Mint adds new annual issues to the five silver bullion coin series it started in 2022

In March 2022, European Mint debuted five new bullion coins, offering a variety of themes, but headlined by a focus on the national identities of countries in the British Isles, namely Ireland and Wales. Alongside those were pirate and crypto designs. All were an ounce in weight, struck in 0.9999 silver, and with one exception, issued for Niue.

It’s now time for seconds, and another wave of five continues those from 2022, some with minor changes, others with completely new designs. All five are now issued for Niue Island, and sporting that micronation’s coat-of-arms, rather than an effigy of the British monarch – understandable at a time of changeover. A good mix, we only have renders at present, and no samples, but they give a good indication of the finished article. All are available now.


The Unicorn, one of the most iconic and beloved of mythological creatures, is a national animal of Scotland, appearing in heraldic imagery for many centuries. Its choice was borne from the conflict with the English, as the unicorn was considered the natural enemy of the lion, symbol of England. Today, coming from the 1707 Act of Union, it stands alongside the lion, holding up the royal arms of the United Kingdom.

Easily our favourite of the five, the rampant unicorn is striking, and well styled for its intended use. The border is nicely ornate, and the pattern on the background field looks excellent, although as we said earlier, we’ve only seen renders. That pattern extends to the obverse, as does the border. If it looks as good in hand as it does here, this will be a fine release. The mintage of this one is 15,000.


The Hibernia coin is largely unchanged from the 2022 issue. It has a very Britannia-like personification of Ireland set in the reverse face, and that hasn’t changed at all. The spacing of the border inscriptions has some subtle alterations, but the big difference is in the background field, moving from a guilloche pattern, to a sunburst.

That sunburst also appears on the obverse, this time emanating from the centre of the coin. However, the big change is the Niue coat-of-arms, because Hibernia was the only 2022 coin of the five issued for Tokelau. A classically styled coin, it should find plenty of buyers, no doubt explaining the mintage of 50,000 pieces.


The first coin in this pirate themed series sported the classic skull and crossbones of Calico Jack. For 2023, the flag of the legendary pirate, Blackbeard, is doing the infamous honours. Depicting a skeleton stabbing a heart with its spear and toasting the Devil with a glass in the other hand, in struck fear into those that saw it coming.

There’s an appropriately wavy background pattern on both faces, something it has in common with Calico Jack, and the mintage is back at 15,000 pieces.


The 2022 predecessor of the Lucky Clover is clearly the Shamrock design. It’s fundamentally the same in layout, but there are changes apart from the obvious moving from a three-leafed shamrock to a four-leafed clover. The clean background has been replaced with a swirl of striated lines coming from behind the plant, and that extends to the obverse as well. The Public Seal of Niue is here again. A simple design, but that hasn’t dented the popularity of the Royal Canadian Mints Maple Leaf, has it? The mintage is, again, 15,000, which is actually lower than 2022, which hit 25k.


We can’t say we’re fans of crypto, we’re not, but there have been some neat homages to it in the proper coin world. This is a continuation of the series started last year, and appears to have undergone the least amount of change of the five 2023 coins. There’s a fine polygonal pattern on the Bitcoin logo, and a binary border replacing a couple of the lined ones.

In contrast, the obverse is a huge improvement on last years, with a dense, yet finer layout of circuit paths, and the shrinking of the Niue seal to a smaller, rectangular area. The hard border is gone, and the inscriptions are reversed. A neat design, it has a mintage capped at 15,000.

SPECIFICATION (per design)
COMPOSITION 31.1 g of 0.9999 silver
FINISH Brilliant Uncirculated
MINTAGE Variable. See article.