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In December of last year, we shared Choice Mint’s remarkable King Arthur silver coin. The next coin in the six-piece Camelot series, “Guinevere,” is now available to pre-order, and it is as beautiful as its predecessor.
“Camelot” is a joint product of the treasury of the Cook Islands, Choice Mint, and Coin Invest Trust (CIT). The coins are produced using CIT’s Smartminting technology, which achieves exceptionally high relief with normal amounts of metal—or, alternatively, normal relief with less metal than conventional methods require. Either way, it also produces very fine detail.
The reverse design depicts the legendary queen of Camelot in a seated position, holding a long-stemmed rose. Like the previous coin in the series, it is beautifully detailed in both the foreground and the background, and employs three distinct finishes: a mirrorlike Proof finish, a rich matte finish, and a fine, smooth finish that strikes a balance between the two. The stitching on Guinevere’s gown, each loop of her braid, each bead in her necklace is sharply detailed, and clusters of leaves are visible on the far-off trees. A knight’s shield with diagonal stripes leans against one tree, and in the far background, a tiny flag waves above the towers of Camelot.
The obverse is remains the same as on the King Arthur coin: a modern portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, by Ian Rank-Broadley, reduced in size and placed at the center of the legendary Round Table. She is surrounded by Arthur’s knights, who are shown as if from above, each holding his helm in one hand and his sword, raised toward the Queen, in the other hand. Each tiny knight is different from the others, most noticeably in the hair, which may be straight, curly, tousled, parted, or in the case of one knight, nonexistent. Even the wood grain on the surface of the Round Table is visible.
The coins are dated 2016 and have a face value of 10 dollars (Cook Islands legal tender). Measuring 50 millimeters, each coin consists of 2 ounces of .999 silver. The mintage is limited to 999. “King Arthur” and “Guinevere” will be followed this year by “Sir Lancelot” and “The Lady of the Lake.” “Merlin” and “Morgan le Fey” will conclude the series in 2018.
The limited mintage is distributed among several vendors, including World Mint News Blog sponsor First Coin Company. A listing of dealers worldwide can be found on the Choice Mint website. ❑
The Treasury of the British Virgin Islands have issued (12th April) a new silver crown coin marking the centenary of the birth of John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States of America. John Kennedy was elected as the youngest president of the United States after a hard-fought campaign in November 1960 against Republican candidate Richard Nixon. He was sworn in on the 20th January 1961 on the steps of the Capitol in Washington DC.
The coin is produced by the Pobjoy Mint, United Kingdom, on behalf of the Treasury of the British Virgin Islands. It is intended as a bullion piece but is struck using a reverse-Proof technique, meaning the effigies on each side have been struck with a polished surface with a frosted or matte background. The reverse design of the coin is based on the image of President Kennedy previously seen on a medal crafted by the internationally acclaimed medalist Paul Vincze, a Hungarian artist who excels at portraiture. As 2017 marks the centenary of Kennedy’s birth, and in order to celebrate the milestone of such an influential figure, the commemorative years 1917 and 2017 are placed on each side of the portrait of the president.
The obverse features an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II used exclusively on various coins produced by the Pobjoy Mint.
|$10||.999 silver||31.3 g||38.6 mm||Reverse-Proof||50,000|
Pre-orders are now being accepted for delivery commencing on the 24th April. The bullion-quality, .999 fine silver coin is sold in sheets of 20 encapsulated in an acrylic holder. For additional information on the coins issued by the Treasury of the British Virgin Islands, please visit the website of the Pobjoy Mint.
The incredible man remembered on this coin
Medallic artist Paul Vincze’s 1973 plaque honoring John F. Kennedy.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, affectionately known as JFK, was born on the 29th May 1917 in Massachusetts to a prominent Irish-American family. He spent the first 10 years of his life in Boston; the Kennedy family then moved to the Bronx, where he spent his middle-school years. Kennedy later went on to study at the London School of Economics and Harvard University, which laid the foundations of his political career. During the years 1938 to 1940, his father, Joseph Kennedy, was the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, and John Kennedy lived in London during this time. The Kennedy family was a very well established U.S. political family that would eventually produce a president, three senators, and multiple other politicians. John Kennedy himself also had a distinguished military career from 1941 to 1945 and served during World War II in the Pacific theatre of operations. On one notable occasion, the torpedo boat Kennedy was serving on was sunk. In order to save the crew he had to swim a distance of about three and a half miles at night whilst towing an injured comrade from the wreck to a nearby island. JFK received multiple medals and awards for his service, including the Purple Heart, making him the only president to receive one. John Kennedy lost his elder brother, Joseph Jr., during the war when, in 1944, Joseph was killed in action while serving as a land-based patrol bomber pilot. For the Kennedy family, this thrust John in the position of senior son, for whom his father had planned an ambitious future as a politician.
In 1947 some of this meticulous plan came to fruition when John was elected to the House of Representatives. He would serve in this capacity until being elected to the Senate in 1953. That same year, John would marry Jacqueline Bouvier, a beautiful and accomplished socialite from New York whom he’d met at an informal dinner party. They would have three children during their marriage, their last child living only two days after his birth. During John Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1960, Jacqueline (or “Jackie,” as she was known) played a very prominent part, becoming almost as popular as her husband on the campaign trail. He won the election—not decisively, with only about a hundred thousand votes separating the victor from the runner-up, but the United States had elected their youngest-ever president, and the first Roman Catholic chief executive.
John Kennedy is remembered for standing up to the Soviet Union when the Communist nation attempted to install nuclear weapons on the island nation of Cuba, which had adopted a Communist form of government from 1959. President Kennedy is also remembered for his staunch support of civil rights and was pivotal in advancing this movement, which eventually saw the signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. President Kennedy also organised the Peace Corps, a government-supported organisation that provided technical, agricultural, educational, and medical assistance to peoples outside the United States, primarily in the developing world. Committed to ridding the world of Communist doctrine, President Kennedy is fondly remembered to this day for having stood in front of the Berlin Wall, a barrier constructed by East German authorities to permanently divide the city of Berlin between East and West, and declared himself a Berliner in support of the diplomatic efforts to remove the wall.
John Kennedy famously headed a family and official visit to Ireland in June 1963. It was considered by the Irish government to be a return of their most famous son to his homeland, although it was Kennedy’s four great-grandparents who had immigrated to the United States in the mid 1840’s from County Wexford. The president was greeted as a returning hero and honoured with accolades and large crowds of people at every step. President Kennedy even had the opportunity to visit the village where his family had once lived, and still lived at the time. The visit would prove to be bittersweet for his ancestral homeland, for, just five months later, while on a campaign visit to Dallas, Texas, John Kennedy was shot and assassinated on the 22nd November 1963. Vice President Lyndon Johnson, who had accompanied Kennedy to his home state, was sworn in as president aboard Air Force One, in the company of the late president’s young widow. He was sworn in by federal judge Sarah Hughes; it was the first time a woman had sworn in an American president. Lee Harvey Oswald, an out-of-work casual labourer who had questionable ties to Cuba and Russia, was himself shot and killed just two days after being apprehended by authorities by a nightclub owner named Jack Ruby, who had ties to organised crime. These events led many internationally and in the United States to speculate that a conspiracy to kill the president had come from Havana, Moscow, or further afield, but this has never been proved. It was also questioned for many years as to whether there was more than one gunman on that fateful day. The official report is that the president was shot by lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas Texas. The gunman supposedly acted alone as he fired at the president from the sixth-story window of a nearby building, killing him.
The president’s funeral was held on the 25th November. Official mourners traveled from almost every nation and included other presidents, kings, queens, and heads of government, all led by Kennedy’s widow, Jacqueline, and their two small children. The president was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. A permanent memorial, the Eternal Flame, continues to burn over the late president’s grave as a sign of continued respect and remembrance. ❑
(Ottawa)—The Royal Canadian Mint has proudly issued a silver collector coin to honor and remember Canada’s soldiers who, fighting for the first time in a formation uniting all four divisions of the Canadian Corps 100 years ago, valiantly won the historic Battle of Vimy Ridge and paved the way to the Allied victory that ended the First World War. This fine silver coin was unveiled today at the Canadian War Museum.
“As Canadians remember the sacrifices and achievements of our men and women in uniform at times of war, the government of Canada is pleased that the Royal Canadian Mint has issued a silver collector coin to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge as an unforgettable turning point in Canadian and First World War history,” said the Honorable Bill Morneau, minister of finance. “This coin is a moving tribute to the service and sacrifice of those who bravely fought and prevailed at Vimy Ridge, when Canada and its Allies needed them.”
The Honorable Mélanie Joly, minister of Canadian heritage, and Sandra Hanington, president and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint, unveil a silver collector coin commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. (Photo courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint)
“The Mint has a long history of crafting many coins honoring the sacrifices of Canadians at times of war, and we are proud to maintain this tradition with a fine silver coin commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge,” said Sandra Hanington, president and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “As a moment etched in Canadian history, as well as a permanent memorial to all Canadians who were lost or wounded in France during the First World War, Vimy Ridge has a special place in the hearts of Canadians, which this coin will preserve for generations to come.”
Canadian artist Pandora Young designed the .9999 fine silver coin’s reverse, which evokes the scene of relentless artillery fire supporting Canadian troops in the innovative “creeping barrage” advancing towards Vimy Ridge on the horizon. A close-up of a lone Canadian soldier, his face purposely omitted to symbolize all Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, stands in the foreground. Selective gold plating on the soldier’s uniform echoes the special significance of this battle in Canadian and world history.
The obverse of the coin features the gold-plated effigy of King George V, Canada’s reigning monarch throughout the First World War.
The $20 fine silver coin, “First World War Battlefront Series: The Battle of Vimy Ridge,” has a limited mintage of 10,000 and retails for $112.95. It is available for purchase as of April 5, 2017, by contacting the RCM at 1-800-267-1871 (Canada) or 1-800-268-6468 (U.S.), or online at www.mint.ca. The coin is also available at the Royal Canadian Mint’s boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Vancouver, as well as through the its global network of dealers and distributors, including participating Canada Post outlets.
A $2 circulation coin commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge will be launched by the Royal Canadian Mint this fall. ❑
Sand dollars are popular souvenirs collected by tourists and beachcombers around the world. The sun-bleached skeletons of these sea urchins resemble old Spanish and American dollar coins, which led early settlers to refer to them as “sand dollars.” In Spanish-speaking countries they are often known as galletas de mar—“sea biscuits” or “sea cookies.”
In Christian symbolism, the unique patterns on a sand dollar represent the birth, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. According to the legend of the sand dollar, the central star represents the star of Bethlehem, the five petals surrounding the star show an Easter lily, and the five holes indicate the wounds of Christ’s crucifixion. The back side of a sand dollar shows a Christmas flower outline. Last but not least, each sand dollar carries five “doves” (the remnants of the urchin’s teeth) inside it. When the sand dollar is broken apart, the doves emerge to spread peace and joy.
The five “doves” inside a broken sand dollar. (Wikimedia photo)
Some believe sand dollars to be mythical coins lost by mermaids and washed ashore. Still others consider them to be the currency of the people of the lost city of Atlantis.
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Whichever legend intrigues you most, these new, delicate sand-dollar coins are sure to fascinate and enchant. The silver coin represents sand “dollars” in a very literal sense: issued by the Republic of Palau, it has a face value of one dollar, and its shape and reverse design closely mimic an actual sand dollar. The coins are produced by Coin Invest Trust, which applies its unique Smartminting technology to the artistic mermaid design on its obverse.
The coin ships in a treasure chest collector’s box. Full specifications are as follows:
Palau’s silver-dollar sand dollars can be purchased from a variety of retailers, including Power Coin (Italy), Minted UK (United Kingdom), LPM (Hong Kong), and Coin & Currency Institute (United States). ❑
The replica ship HMS Bounty II, which was exhibited around the world prior to its sinking during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. (Photo by Dan Kasberger)
The following is a press release courtesy of Money Metals Exchange.
Money Metals Exchange, a leading U.S. precious metals dealer, has just released the half-ounce Bounty coin to the public through an exclusive arrangement with the New Zealand Mint.
Demand for half-ounce silver bullion is significant, yet few legal-tender mints (including the U.S. Mint) offer this size. That is changing with the release of the New Zealand Bounty silver half-ounce coin, which comes on the heels of last October’s successful release of the full 1-ounce version. The 1-ounce Bounty has the same content and purity as the silver American Eagle, but the difference is its far lower premium.
Money Metals Exchange expects the half-ounce Bounty coin to become as popular as the 1-ounce version. Stefan Gleason, president of Money Metals Exchange, said, “We are excited to exclusively offer this coin to U.S. silver investors. Not only does it have an outstanding value in legal-tender silver, but also its design is spectacular. No other half-ounce silver coin offers a lower premium above the silver spot price.”
The reverse design features an image of the historic HMS Bounty, a merchant vessel taken over by its own crew in mutiny in 1789 and later burned. The ship is encircled by a compass; reading clockwise from lower left are the weight and fineness: HALF TROY OUNCE .999+ FINE SILVER.
The obverse features the iconic profile of HM Queen Elizabeth II as designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, with his initials, IRB, just below the neck of the bust. The denomination, ONE DOLLAR, appears to the right of the profile; the date of issue, 2017, is below. The effigy, date, and legend are set against a field of precise, radiant lines.
The legal-tender bullion coins can be ordered from the website of Money Metals Exchange. ❑