It’s always a pleasure to get an exclusive look at a new coin and when it was as outstanding as last years Trojan Horse coin, it’s a real treat. The first in a new series called Ancient Myths, the coin was a superb example of this ever popular genre. Struck by the Mint of Poland for Magikos Coins, it remains one of the best ancient mythology themed coins available today.
This year sees the second in the series to be launched and it remains firmly seated in the Mediterranean region with the tale of the fabled Minotaur of Crete. The specification follows last years very closely as you would expect. Produced in two ounces of 0.999 silver and antique-finished, the coin is struck to a high relief and is rimless. Like the Trojan Horse coin with its wooden ‘shield’ inset into the reverse face, this one has an inset item of its own, one more appropriate for the subject.
The reverse face depicts the huge Minotaur, the half-man, half-bull of legend charging at the figure of Theseus clad in hoplite armour of the period. Brutal-looking and filled with rage, the Minotaur makes an imposing figure in this very dynamic scene set in the fabled labyrinth of the tale. The design is full of cool little touches; the remains of previous victims, the string that Theseus used to find his way back out of the maze, damage to the walls. The insert this time is made of brass and is the ball on the Minotaurs mace and chain. Integrated effectively into the art, it adds a depth to the coin, far more interesting than the usual mineral window.
The obverse depicts the entrance to the labyrinth, guarded by a Greek-style warrior. The required effigy of Queen Elizabeth II (the coin is issued for Niue) is present as a coin within a coin. Just the inscription ‘ANCIENT MYTHS’ sits outside of it. A small, classic reproduction of Theseus slaying the Minotaur is at the top of this face. Only the coin name ‘MINOTAUR’ sits on the main reverse face. The edge of the coin will carry a serial number that will also be printed on the enclosed Certificate of Authenticity.
Available to order shortly, the coin comes in a nice wooden box and will again be limited to just 500 pieces. It looks like this will be another of those series to watch from the Mint of Poland whose track record of late has been quite exemplary. Dealers that sold the Trojan Horse coin will no doubt have this one, including several of our sponsors, as will Magikos Coins who are responsible for this series.