Pandora’s Box is one of those mythical objects that has become a common reference in moden culture, so its choice as the first subject in Powercoins new silver coin series last April, was a clever one. A stunning coin, it set a high bar for the genre and certainly got collectors interested in what would come next. What comes next is the story of Scylla and Charybdis.
Another Greek tale, the Ancient Greeks were certainly an inventive lot, the legend of these two mythical forms sitting either side of the Straits of Messina, wrecking ships, has also entered the modern popular conciousness. Ships sailing through the Strait were said to have to choose to sail closer to Scylla, or to Charybdis, both equally dangerous, so the phrase ‘Between Scylla & Charybdis’ has come to be associated with a forced choice between two evils.
The coin design takes that ‘swirling into the abyss’ look that made Pandora’s Box so cool looking and applies it to Scylla and Charybdis. The ship balanced precariously between the two forces in the form of a mermaid and a whirlpool, is seen about to fall to its inevitable doom into the fanged maw in the coins centre. It’s a fantastic interpretation of the old myth, replete with sea monsters that carry on in the border of the obverse. Issued for Palau, that micronations pretty shield emblem sits in the centre of the obverse.
At three-ounces of fine silver, packed with smartminted high relief and antique finishing, this isn’t a bargain basement offering, but a fine example of the numismatic art. We particularly like this series as it competes in a packed genre, but manages to do so with a unique choice of subject and an equally unique artistic style. Packaging is neat enough and the mintage of 666 just about right. Another fine issue in a series that will surely become eagerly awaited in future.