VIKINGS FIGHT THEIR WAY ONTO THE NZ MINTS WARRIORS OF HISTORY SERIES

The New Zealand Mint debuted a new series back in June called Warriors of History. It featured one of the most fascinating of all warrior classes, the Samurai. The coin was struck in one-ounce of fine silver, antique-finished and sported some selective colouring of the warrior figure. It remains a well liked design and we’ve seen little negative discussion of it. As part of a series, and in line with the New Zealand Mint’s speedier release schedule of late, we haven’t had to wait long for a second coin.

Sticking with the most widely known of history’s warrior groups, the mint has chosen the Vikings for the second coin. The style is followed very closely indeed from the Samurai coin, even down to the placement of the figure and the background. It worked well on the first one, so why not? The background is a classic depiction of how you’d imagine the Vikings, storming ashore from a beached longship on another raid. As we noted previously, it’s quite close in concept and execution to Numiscollects superb History of the Crusades series.

A Viking warrior is depicted in colour, like the Samurai being well drawn and integrated into the design. Other than the word ‘VIKINGS’ inscribed in Norse script, and the composition in a very small font, the reverse is free of lettering. The antique finish obverse is the ususal Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. Her name, the date, issuer and denomination are also inscribed near the edge of the coin.

Packaging is very cool, an enhanced variant of the book-style design that debuted with the Shakespeare coin from a couple of years ago. The recommended price of $85.00, is par for the course with a 1oz coloured silver coin with a 5k mintage. The coin is available to order now.

COIN FACES

VIKINGS

Vikings, from Old Norse víkingr, were Norse seafarers, speaking the Old Norse language, who raided and traded from their Scandinavian homelands across wide areas of northern, central and eastern Europe, during the late 8th to late 11th centuries. The term is also commonly extended in modern English and other vernaculars to the inhabitants of Viking home communities during what has become known as the Viking Age. This period of Norse military, mercantile and demographic expansion constitutes an important element in the early medieval history of Scandinavia, the British Isles, Ireland, France, Kievan Rus’ and Sicily.

Facilitated by advanced seafaring skills, and characterised by the longship, Viking activities at times also extended into the Mediterranean littoral, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Following extended phases of (primarily sea- or river-borne) exploration, expansion and settlement, Viking (Norse) communities and polities were established in diverse areas of north-western Europe, European Russia, the North Atlantic islands and as far as the north-eastern coast of North America. This period of expansion witnessed the wider dissemination of Norse culture, while simultaneously introducing strong foreign cultural influences into Scandinavia itself, with profound developmental implications in both directions.

PACKAGING

Our knowledge about the arms and armour of the Viking age is based on archaeological finds, pictorial representation, and to some extent on the accounts in the Norse sagas and Norse laws recorded in the 13th century. According to custom, all free Norse men were required to own weapons and were permitted to carry them all the time. These arms were indicative of a Viking’s social status: a wealthy Viking had a complete ensemble of a helmet, shield, mail shirt, and sword. A typical bóndi (freeman) was more likely to fight with a spear and shield, and most also carried a seax as a utility knife and side-arm. Bows were used in the opening stages of land battles and at sea, but they tended to be considered less “honourable” than a melee weapon. Vikings were relatively unusual for the time in their use of axes as a main battle weapon. The Húscarls, the elite guard of King Cnut (and later of King Harold II) were armed with two-handed axes that could split shields or metal helmets with ease.

The warfare and violence of the Vikings were often motivated and fuelled by their beliefs in Norse religion, focusing on Thor and Odin, the gods of war and death. In combat, it is believed that the Vikings sometimes engaged in a disordered style of frenetic, furious fighting known as berserkergang, leading them to be termed berserkers. Such tactics may have been deployed intentionally by shock troops, and the berserk-state may have been induced through ingestion of materials with psychoactive properties, such as the hallucinogenic mushrooms, Amanita muscaria, or large amounts of alcohol.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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MINTS DESCRIPTION

This new Warriors of History coin collection brings alive the stories of some of the most legendary warriors in history. This stunning coin reverse shows a coloured illustration of a Viking warrior in full battle-gear. He stands against an engraved coastal background showing two longships and Viking warriors ready for battle.

This high impact, colourful and partly-engraved coin comes presented in a sleek and stylish themed rectangular coin case, with textured cover. The uniquely numbered Certificate of Authenticity sits inside the coin case.

With a mintage of only 5,000 coins, this Warriors of History – Vikings 1 oz Silver Coin would make an excellent gift for coin collectors and those interested in history.

SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2 NEW ZEALAND 0.999 SILVER 31.1 g 40.0 mm ANTIQUE  5,000 YES / YES

MINT LINK

NEW ZEALAND MINT