Zeus – Father of the Gods
Cook Islands. 20 Dollars 2022. Silver .999. Gilded. 3 oz. Silk finish. Size 60 x 30 mm. Mintage: 501 pieces. Special technology: smartminting® (Ultra High Relief); Special Shape. B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt, Munich.
Description of the Coin
The blank is minted in the shape of an enthroned Zeus.
One side is a three-dimensional image of enthroned Zeus.
The other side features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley (initials: IRB) in a circle; around it is the name of the ruler, of the issuing nation, and the denomination: 20 DOLLARS. Above it is a complicated geometric pattern, below two geometric patterns connected by two Ionic columns, inside the incuse serial number of the specimen and the year 2022.
Where did the human mind develop the concept of godship? We know from the Greeks that they used names like “Zeus” or “Aphrodite” to describe experiences that went beyond anything the human mind could explain. Zeus, the father of the gods, embodied the experience that human life can change completely within a split second – for better or for worse. The lightning bolt Zeus holds in his hands became synonymous with this power.
It was with great hesitance that the Greeks began to depict their gods in the shape of human beings. For this purpose, they hired the best artists and used the most precious materials they could afford.
The rich sanctuary of Olympia engaged the most famous sculptor of its time in around 440 BCE: Phidias of Athens. He used gold, ivory, ebony, bronze, and precious stones to create the best-known statue of Zeus in the entire Greek world. Phidias gave Zeus the appearance that we still associate with this God today: the stern face of a bearded man in his prime. The gold and ivory statue of Phidias in the main temple of Olympia became one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
This statue inspired CIT for his representation of the Greek faith forming part of its Spiritual Art series.
Thanks to smartminting technology, CIT’s numismatic miniature sculpture of Zeus can be placed vertically and be turned thus into a three-dimensional work of art. This makes Zeus an ideal decoration for the desk of a philhellene or a lover of antiquity – and it might grant him Zeus’ favor.
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CoinWeek Podcast #155: Ultra-Modern Coins Take Over
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In this episode of the CoinWeek Podcast, we have a lively, interesting, and provocative conversation with Chang Bullock and Orlando Lorenzana of CIT, where we talk about how ultra-modern coins (or postmodern coins, as we call them) have taken over the contemporary coin market and how CIT’s innovations in color and coin minting technology are changing the game for private and sovereign mints.
You cannot walk away from this podcast without learning something about the way minting has changed–and has always been changing throughout the course of monetary history–and we hope it will give you a clearer picture of where we are heading.