Coins are miniature pieces of art.
Often designed by some of the world’s leading artists and produced by craftsmen drawing on centuries of minting experience, you should never overlook the quality of a coin’s design.
The best designs create demand and raise a coin from being just another issue into something exceptional.
Don’t believe me? I have 7 examples that will change your mind.
If a design truly captures the essence of an event or commemoration it will captivate collectors.
Take a look at this stirring coin from Canada to see what I mean. Issued to honour the thousands of soldiers who fell during the Dieppe Raid – a disastrous operation during the Second World War.
5,000 Canadian troops went, but only 2,200 returned home.
That sense of loss has been captured with one Canadian veteran saluting his fallen comrades as their shadows reflect back in the sea, creating one of the most poignant coins I have ever seen.
To mark 50 years since Neil Armstrong’s “one small step” this year, the US Mint has created something exceptional.
Not content with simply producing a stunning design, they actually used a design feature to tell the story by making their commemorative a curved coin.
The curved surface of the coin depicts the visor on Buzz Aldrin’s helmet, with his shadow, Neil Armstrong, the lunar lander and the American flag shown in the reflection.
It’s a representation of a close-up of the famous “Buzz Aldrin on the Moon” photograph taken 20 July 1969.
The coin’s obverse features that first step on the moon, with Armstrong’s boot imprinted into the coin.
The East India Company doesn’t do ordinary. Formed over 400 years ago, the company is synonymous with quality and luxury, so their first ever Gold Sovereign was always going to be something special.
To mark the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth – a pivotal figure in the history of The East India Company and the British Empire – the coin has been struck to the exact same specification as the UK Proof Sovereign.
It draws its inspiration from one of the most iconic Sovereigns ever struck, the Shield Back Sovereign, which was the first Queen Victoria Sovereign design.
The end result is a suitably regal design that somehow captures centuries of gold coin minting.
If you’re looking for a design that captures the true essence of its subject matter then look no further than this UK issue from last year, which marked 200 years since the first publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
The Royal Mint really tapped into the story of Frankenstein, coming up with a design that spells Dr Frankenstein’s name out across the coin in the style of a heart monitor, mimicking the creation of his monster.
It’s quite an unusual design for a UK coin and one collectors loved.
When The Royal Mint issued the UK’s first ever 10oz Silver coin in 2017, the designer knew he had to come up with something special to utilise the vast 65mm diameter of the coin.
He didn’t disappoint.
Jody Clark, who has the honour of being the designer of the current portrait of Her Majesty seen on our coins, produced one of the best looking coins I have ever seen, with the roaring lion almost tearing its way out of the coin’s surface.
Every detail is immaculate on the super-sized coin. No wonder it completely sold out at the Mint.
This one is a bit controversial as it shows the aftermath of a dogfight during the Second World War, but it doesn’t shy away from the grim kill-or-be-killed realities of war.
The striking design showcases the Royal Canadian Mint’s world-class artistry and skilful engraving.
At the helm of a Hawker Hurricane, a Canadian fighter pilot ascends higher after firing upon a Dornier Do 17Z – the enemy plane has seemingly dropped in altitude as a trail of dark smoke billows up from one of its engines.
Well below these fighter planes, the background recreates England’s famous coast where the waters of the English Channel meet the iconic White Cliffs of Dover.
No design could have better captured such an iconic WWII scene.
Exceptional design is not exclusive to modern issues.
The Rose Guinea was first struck well over 250 years ago and is still widely considered one of the most extravagant and luxurious British coins ever struck.
The reverse shield was designed to bear a resemblance to an open rose.
Its design has helped the Rose Guinea remain one of the most recognisable and sought-after British Gold coins.
If you’re interested…
I can’t pick a favourite out of the seven, so I’m going to leave that to you…
I have extremely limited stock of each of the stunning coins shown here, so if you’d like to add any to your collection, simply follow the relevant link below.