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.