It was Powercoin that debuted the micropuzzle style of coin design. Take a famous piece of art and make it look like a part-completed puzzle through the judicious use of fine detail minting. It sounds like something that CIT/BH Mayer’s proprietary smartminting technology was designed for, and Powercoin employed it to full effect. Very shortly after, Numiartis joined the fold with their own take. Both of those series share a common format, that of three ounces of fine silver, which does allow a large canvas to work with, but does bring with it cost and availability implications.
Both of those series run to hundreds of Euros in price, which is completely understandable given the care, and relatively small mintages of less than 500 pieces. Enter World Coin Appreciation with their own addition. Like PMC’s brilliant copper-cored coins, this one employs copper to bulk up the precious metal, allowing for much larger coins at reasonable prices than would normally be possible. However, whereas PMC wrap silver around the copper, WCA have made a predominately copper coin with the silver used as a layer under the coloured art. It’s a very small amount, just a single gram, which compared to the 60 grams of copper is tiny, so we should consider this a copper coin in reality.
It is a very nice piece, with detailed high relief and enhanced definition. The frame is just as you would expect for the renaissance piece of artwork, ‘Lady with an ermine’ by da Vinci, and is awash with intricate details. The painting is reproduced in rich colour and it all seems to work really well, really enhanced with the gilding all over. The only disappointment is the actual choice of subject, as Powercoin covered it in their Micromosaic Passion series.
The beauty of this coin should be apparent. It’s very well designed with the frame really enhancing the look, but most importantly, it will be very affordable, yet still limited to 2,000 pieces. We haven’t seen a dealer list it yet (we only got details late Friday night), but wholesale prices are very attractive. For the collector who loves their art coins, this should be a bargain way to get a high-quality coin. With some of the Powercoin issues hitting €1,000+ on the aftermarket, this is an opportunity for those on a tighter budget to have some fun as well. Boxed with a COA, it should be up for pre-order any time now. There’s a video lower down, but its only 480p resolution. We’ll try to get a hi-def one.
UPDATE: Removed reference to smartminting.
UPDATE: Added high-res version of video