As much as we love the ancient mythology coins that have been issued over the last few years, it’s always great to see something set in a similar world, but with a decidedly different focus. In 2017, Dutch producer Numiscollect issued a beautiful Aztec Calendar 3oz antiqued silver coin. A micro reproduction of a 22-tonne, 3.6m stone original, it used the CIT/BH Mayer proprietary minting technology, Smartminting, to pack the surface of this 65 mm coin with lashing of high-relief and fine detail. It was the first in the producers new series, Archaeology and Symbolism.
Last year saw a second coin join the line-up – a Kalachakra Mandala. Also entering the range was a limited run of gilded Aztec Calendar coins (just 99 pieces compared to 333 antiqued), which was a nice addition, given the importance of gold as a decorative metal in almost all ancient cultures. 2019 sees the issuance of the third design, and the series stays in the region with a beautiful Buddhist themed offering – Samsara, the Wheel of Life.
No changes to the excellent format, of course, but this one seems to have ramped up the detail to even greater heights. Divided into six segments around a circular central area, each of which represents one of the six realms through which life is recycled, there’s a level of fine detail here rarely seen on a coin. Even the border is filled to the brim with tiny imagery. It’s quite impressive to see and does a great job telling the story. The obverse has reverted to that used on the first issue – also for the Cook Islands – after the second coin made a transition to Mongolia.
There was a long wait between the initial antique-finished version and the later gilded coin for the first issue, but for this third design, both are being brought to market concurrently. A gilded version of the second coin is also being released (images further down), so now we have an up-to-date set to look at, and we’ll have a Coin Series Profile up after the weekend so that you can see them all together. The fourth coin should debut at the Beijing Coin Expo in November, and feature that most classic of ancient civilisations, Egypt. An exclusive sneak preview of part of the design can be seen with a click.