The Greek legend of the heroic Argonauts inspires the Mint of Gdańsk’s new silver coin series

The story of Jason and the Argonauts is a popular one, full of amazing creatures and heroic adventures. Even amongst the fantastic legends of the Ancient Greeks, it’s a wild rollercoaster of a story, but most today will no doubt know it from the 1963 cinematic classic ‘Jason & the Argonauts’, featuring the creations of the stop-motion genius, Ray Harryhausen.

There are so many little sub-stories and side-quests to the legend, that choosing to run a coin series on it seems a bit of a no-brainer. Sensibly, the Mint of Gdańsk are starting near the beginning, with a scene depicting Jason’s education by the Centaur, Chiron. Chiron was known for his great wisdom, teaching not only Jason, but also Hercules and Achilles. Jason is shown with Chiron behind him, with both, especially the latter, beautifully rendered. Jason is wearing the Golden Fleece, which seems a little early for its presence, but nobody ever accused the Greek legends of consistency, so perhaps the scene is set later.

The obverse is also impressive, with the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II placed on a shield as part of the complete artwork, rather than just overlaid, with all the negative connotations that implies. The ram’s head takes pride of place in front of the shield, while behind it is a mix of the fleece and some weapons. There’s a classic Greek fret decorative border all around, also called a Meandros.

The coin is struck in a classic format, with two ounces of high-relief, antiqued silver the favoured specification for coins in this genre. It’s another great-looking coin in a genre populated with classics, and comes with the ubiquitous Certificate of Authenticity, and a decent box. Jason and Chiron has a mintage of 500, and can be pre-ordered now, with shipping around the middle of September.


The pan-Hellenic mythological hero Jason was famed for his expedition with the Argonauts – as the sailors on their ship the Argo were known – in search of the Golden Fleece in Kolchis on the Black Sea, one of the most popular and enduring legends of Greek mythology. Jason was believed to have been educated by the wise centaur Cheiron in the forests of Mount Pelion. He had been placed under the centaur’s care by his father Aison whose younger brother Pelias had usurped the throne of Iolkos in Thessaly.

At the age of 20, Jason finally returned to Iolkos to claim his kingdom. On his return journey Jason somehow lost one of his sandals and when he re-entered the city, Pelias saw him and recalled an oracle some years before which had declared that Pelias would lose his life at the hands of a one-sandaled man. Identifying Jason as the oracle’s man, he decided to send the hero on an impossibly difficult and probably fatal expedition to bring the fabled Golden Fleece to Iolkos.

The Golden Fleece came from a winged ram originally belonging to the god Hermes, which was sacrificed by Phrixos, son of the goddess Nephele, and placed in a sacred grove dedicated to the god Ares, under the protection of a fearsome serpent. Jason was a favourite with the goddess Athena, who had the great craftsman, Argo, build a boat, also called the Argo.

After many adventures, involving fire-breathing bulls, skeleton warriors, and a dragon, they captured the fleece and set sail for home. The journey home was equally difficult, with Sirens, the bronze giant Talos, and storms sent by Zeus. He succeeded, returning to Iolkos to a heroes welcome. Uses parts of Cartwright, Mark. “Jason & the Argonauts.” World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 21 Jul 2012. Web. 30 Mar 2022.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, gilding
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes