What is it about curved, or cup-shaped coins, that appeals so a lot to collectors ? respective global mints have increasingly explored issue coins in strange shapes such as cylinders, cubes, squares, and thus away, but none of those shapes have been arsenic successful as the convex/concave combination .
In part it is the knickknack of the concept, which so far has only been used by five earth mints a far as I know, and three of them lone issued their cup-shaped coins this class. It all began with the issue in 2009 of two french coins that honored the International Year of Astronomy and the fortieth anniversary of american lunar month landing, one in silver and another in amber. The french coins were big hits and are not easy to locate nowadays, as identical few dealers have them in stock .
Since then a number of curved coins have been issued by global mints, and of course there are the 2014 baseball commemoratives ( one-half dollar, dollar, and $ 5 gold ) that were popular from the clock they were first gear announced in part because of their strange shape, a first for modern american issues.
But the veridical reason the cup-shape is sol popular with modern coin collectors is that it is a very effective concept when the subject matter lends itself so naturally to a convex/concave shape. The two most obvious topics that are well-suited to this approach are sports because the crook slope resembles one one-half of a ball of whatever kind, and astronomy because the dome can besides represent the come on of the earth, moon, etc., or of the sky. Geography is another area that comes to mind .
After the ash grey and gold french coins from 2009, the following coins with that form were the ones issued by the Royal Australian Mint for the Southern Sky ace constellations starting with the 2012 Southern Crux coin, which was the first gear convex/concave-shaped australian coin. It was done with silver stars aligned to form a cross against a blue sky background and was very popular from the time it was first issued. That mint recently has been selling for $ 400 and more and was merely approximately $ 100 when issued. It was followed in 2013 by the green-colored Pavo coin. And according to dependable sources in Australia, in late August or early September a third coin will be issued, this prison term for Orion. The one-third australian coin was primitively expected for June, but it has apparently been delayed. thus far that serial is probably the most democratic non-American curved-shape series, and the 10,000 mintage of each mint has been easily absorbed by the world coin market .
Because there are still relatively few curved coins some collectors are putting together sets of each of the ones issued so far, at least all the ash grey ones that is, since the gold coins are quite expensive. The 2014 American baseball coins are still $ 800 even after a holocene dip. And even more prohibitively expensive is the french gold coin from 2009 which has a blue-colored insert and costs several thousand dollars .
The three newest coins in the curved serial include french coins for the 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament held in Brazil, which just began on June 12 and runs through July 13, and which was issued in a 22.2 gram flatware and five snow leopard gold interpretation. only the silver and a one ounce gold coin are curved but two smaller aureate versions and a 5 ounce aureate mint were besides issued. The french Mint constantly issues multiple versions of the same commemorative in ash grey and aureate. The flatware soccer mint is the one most collectors are probable to purchase and has a mintage of 10,000 pieces .
The second new curved free is a mint issued by the Congo to mark the 450th anniversary of the parturition of the most celebrated astronomer of all meter, Galileo Galilei .
Born in 1564 in Pisa, Italy, he is considered the father of science, physics, and experimental astronomy .
The Congo mint, which is a one-ounce ash grey validation with a mintage limited to 1450 and a appellation of 30 Francs, is quite affect and is already very democratic .
The colored-obverse ( convex side ) shows Galileo peering through a telescope and besides depicts the solar system, which he discovered. The reverse ( concave side ) shows the surface of the moon in exquisite, textured detail with the respective craters and mountains shown.
The third base new convex return is from the Cook Islands and is the first write out in a new “ Wonderful Mosaics ” serial. As one of the coin ’ s north american distributors, First Coin Company explains, the coin depicts in color the beautiful mosaic from the inside of a celebrated thirteenth century church in Rome : “ The Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, normally known as St. John Lateran ’ second Archbasilica, St. John Lateran ’ sulfur Basilica, and just The Lateran Basilica, is the cathedral church service of the Diocese of Rome and the official ecclesiastical buttocks of the Bishop of Rome, who is the Pope. ”
It is not unusual for world mints to pick up on a design or form used by one of their competitors and use it on their own coinage. There are countless examples of that such as our own batch issuing bombastic, five ounce argent coins, which is something mints around the world have been doing for years .
It is therefore not surprising that the dome shape would be repeated after the success of the french and australian coins. But there is always a risk of using the lapp concept excessively much, specially when done by the same nation ’ s mint. many collectors have pointed out that if our Mint started issuing early coins with dome-shapes or early unusual shapes, our coinage would start to resemble what some people call the “ circus neologism ” of other countries, and the concept would likely become less democratic if it were overused. The attic approach was a revolutionary deviation for american english coins, but equitable radical adequate without being excessively leftover .
The approaching Football Hall of Fame coins to be issued in 2015 do not include any specific shape requirements. Although public opinion is divided, most collectors seem to come down on the side of not issuing a football-shaped coin, which may not even be technologically feasible .
It is authoritative to remember how much our mint relied on the french and australian coins when it was preparing the baseball coins for coinage, which Mint officials have explained was therefore unmanageable that they compare it to the lunar month land in the words of Steve Antonucci of the U.S. Mint, quoted in a late Wired magazine article .
According to coin media reports, one of the first things the team developing the baseball coins did was make reproductions of the french and australian coins so they could study the specific minting requirements of a curved coin. And the legislation that created the coins specifically required that they be issued in a concave/convex form exchangeable to the 2009 French coin .
For immediately the concept remains popular with collectors and is probably to remain that way unless it is overdo. It works because it is a very effective way to visually represent certain themes, and it seems to strike the right counterweight between being unlike adequate from other coins without being excessively strange. But the question remains, to use an expression my church father was affectionate of : How much is excessively a lot of a dear thing ?
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Copyright © CoinWeek – June 2014
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Louis Golino is a coin collector and numismatic writer, whose articles on coins have appeared in Coin World, Numismatic News, and a number of different coin web sites. His insightful retrospective on the american Silver Eagle was the cover feature of the February 2014 consequence of The Numismatist. His column for CoinWeek, “ The Coin Analyst, ” covers U.S. and universe coins and precious metals. He collects U.S. and european coins and is a penis of the ANA,PCGS, NGC, and CAC. He has besides worked for the U.S. Library of Congress and has been a syndicate columnist and news analyst on external affairs for a wide assortment of newspapers and web sites .