By Louis Golino, special to CoinWeek …..
It’s that time of the year again – time to look back on some highlights from the dizzying array of world and private mint coin releases in 2022 with a focus on coins that would make great post-holiday gifts for the coin collectors in your life or, of course, for yourself!
The following overview presents information on some of the best world coins being issued today at a range of different price points – with most costing from $50 to several hundred each and some that are $500 or more. These are coins that, for the most part, have already proven to be winners in the marketplace.
The Royal Mint
Towards year’s end, The Royal Mint got a boost from all the interest in coins that pay tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II and those that depict the new monarch, King Charles III. But long before that we had everything, from the latest bullion and Proof issues in the ongoing Britannia series to the third and fourth issues in the amazing “Great Engravers” series that featured respectively both sides of the legendary Gothic crown as designed by celebrated 19th-century chief engraver William Wyon, to a whole new series, “British Monarchs”, with coins for Henry VII, James I, George I, and Edward VII struck to look like coins issued during their reigns. Plus, the Mint released lots of commemoratives and collector coins, such as an elegant issue for the centennial of the discovery of the Tutankhamun tomb, coins for the Rolling Stones, and much more.
Then there is the Mint’s Tudor Beasts series, which is the successor to its hugely popular Queen’s Beasts coins that continue to rise in value – as do many of the coins in the new series already, which began in late 2021. One of the changes compared to the Queen coins is that the 10-ounce silver issues, which are a personal favorite, are now being issued at about the same time as other bullion versions of a new design, with two designs coming per year until late 2026. It’s hard to go wrong with these coins, though some of the very large Proof coins are pricey, to say the least.
Finally, among the many tribute coins for the late Queen Elizabeth and all the coins issued to mark her Platinum Jubilee, a standout is the three-coin set known as the Queen’s Reign that are the first coins to ever feature a facsimile of her signature. Those pieces are selling for several times their issue price and are hard to obtain, with the one-ounce silver version limited to 4,000 and the two-ounce to 1,500 each.
East India Company
The East India Company in London had a busy year, too, completing its own “Masterpieces” series that reproduces Wyon’s greatest designs to its ongoing series with a modern take on his legendary Una and the Lion design; a new series called “Goddesses” designed by Joel Iskowitz in addition to his other series based on the Faerie Queen poem that inspired the Una design; a series of modern trade dollars designed by Italian artist Chiara Principe and her platinum jubilee coins that are not like any of the others; and of course the Queen’s Virtues – a wonderful series of coins designed by Dutch artist Elles Kloosterman that connects the legacies of Queens Victoria and Elizabeth II – whose last two coins were just announced earlier than originally planned because of the passing of Elizabeth and whose gorgeous first issue is among the contenders for 2023 Coin of the Year.
Another standout is the Royal Canadian Mint’s Peace dollar series, which, for the 2023 release issued in the late fall, features a rose gold-plated field. In addition to the one-ounce ultra-high relief silver coin with a 6,000-piece mintage, the Mint also issued for the second time a five-ounce version limited to 1,200 that is truly stunning. There is also, as in past years, a one-ounce gold version with a mintage of 500 coins that is pictured above.
Coin Invest Trust AG as always issued one great coin after another with just a small sampling of highlights being the latest Tiffany Art Metropolis coin for Rome to be followed in February with what I expect to be an amazing five-ounce black Proof for Saint Peters’ Cathedral; the 110th anniversary of the Titanic sinking coins that include small pieces of coal from the ship whose value in both the 1 oz and 3 oz versions has seen a considerable spike recently, and so much more. If you missed out on these while they were available at issue price, another round of new issues is just around the corner with coins about ancient Greek warriors, the Chinese Temple of Heaven, cyberpunk, and more.
Powercoin in Italy, which works with CIT AG to produce its own innovative releases, issued a wide range of high-end collector coins like its “Camouflage of Nature” Zebra coin as it prepared to end its two award-winning art-themed series, “Great Micromosaic Passion” and “Micropuzzle Treasures”, with five-ounce coins coming in 2023.
Mints figured out a long time ago that many of us collectors are also space nerds. In addition to a plethora of colorful coins for the Milky Way in the past year and in 2021, the Austrian Mint’s “Unchartered Universe” series followed up its own tribute to the Milky Way (which is one of the coins just announced for the 2023 Coin of the Year competition) with a great one on black holes – a somewhat less often seen astronomy topic depicted on modern coins.
One of the very best from an artistic standpoint and one whose value has already doubled since its release just weeks ago is “Earth from Above” – the latest colored space coin issued for Niue that cleverly integrates a view of the earth from space on the visor of an astronaut’s helmet.
But perhaps the most impressive overall is the three-ounce Cameroon coin called “Space Exploration” that is the first issue in the “De Doodle” series that is designed by the Polish Mint’s top in-house artist and which features am amazing panorama of spacecraft and colored planets that glow in the dark on a 60-millimeter Proof coin with a mintage of 422 coins.
The French Mint
This was another great year for the Monnaie de Paris, too, which just recently issued a wonderful silver coin for the Tutankhamun anniversary that is shaped to look like an Egyptian sphynx and the first of a new series, “Women of the World”, that debuts with silver and gold coins for Grace Kelly – the legendary American movie star who married the prince of Monaco and became a champion for children’s rights before dying at 52 in a car crash. If you want those coins, I recommend grabbing them soon because anything with her likeness is always popular in Europe, as those who are familiar with the 2007 2-euro Grace Kelly coin that sells for $4,000 to 5,000 know.
Among the numerous coins issued earlier this year is the latest in the “Great Dates of Humanity” series’ celebrating American independence included a two-ounce silver, high-relief version of the famous diplomacy medal that features the Great Seal of the United States.
Those who are on a budget and can’t afford the coins mentioned above have all kinds of options too.
There are well-designed, low-mintage silver bullion coins like APMEX’s Icons of Inspiration series designed by Joel Iskowitz about the most important scientists and inventors. Or the latest coins in the various series the Perth Mint issues, such as the Kookaburra with a terrific design on the 2023 one-ounce coin just released. Or the 2023 Chinese Pandas, among many others. In fact, a nice post-holiday purchase would be an assortment of 2023 silver bullion coins that are already available.
Perhaps the person on your list was born in one of the years that fall under the Year of the Rabbit that is being celebrated from January 22, 2023, through February 9, 2024. There are already tons of coins on this theme from Perth’s always-popular bullion line to countless other bullion and collector coins such as the Royal Australian Mint’s well-designed, domed Proofs (also available as bullion pieces) any many more such as the ever-expanding popular culture-themed coins on everything from Star Wars to James Bond, the Simpsons, Disney, etc.
If you tend to raise your eyebrows when it comes to such coins, consider that the 2019 Simpsons coin that looks like one of Homer’s pink donuts is now worth at least $400 to $500 based on actual sales. Speaking of America’s favorite television family, there is a special Simpsons Christmas coin available as a regular one-ounce silver bullion coin and in a more limited colored version.
If you want to go in a different direction (and perhaps even get lost) while spending a small amount, check out new issues from First Coin Company, such as its Illusion Room, which, in addition to having a cool design, is billed as the world’s thinnest coin at only 0.15 millimeters and also the world’s biggest one-gram silver coin with a diameter of 30 millimeters. First Coin also has a new series inspired by the pandemic called “Lockdown Art” that features three famous art masterpieces shown wearing a mask that are also made from just one gram of silver with gold plating also measuring 30 millimeters in diameter. Both series are issued for Chad.
I wish all readers a happy new year of enjoying the greatest hobby on earth.
If there are other recent coins you know about or have purchased that you really love, please leave a comment for other readers about them.
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Louis Golino is an award-winning numismatic journalist and writer, specializing primarily in modern U.S. and world coins. His work has appeared in CoinWeek since 2011. He also currently writes regular features for Coin World, The Numismatist, and CoinUpdate.com, and has been published in Numismatic News, COINage, and FUNTopics, among other coin publications. He has also been widely published on international political, military, and economic issues.
In 2015, his CoinWeek.com column “The Coin Analyst” received an award from the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) for Best Website Column. In 2017, he received an NLG award for Best Article in a Non-Numismatic Publication with his piece, “Liberty Centennial Designs”.
In October 2018, he received a literary award from the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN) for his 2017 article, “Lady Liberty: America’s Enduring Numismatic Motif” which appeared in The Clarion.