World mints issue coins celebrating Vikings, Nordic deities: Topical Topics

Scandinavian hits and myths
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 05/25/16
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The series will span 12 coins with three issued per year. The second release, the 2016 Valkyrie coin, is expected soon.

The Odin release, which sold out from the mint to its distributors in three days, according to Tully, has received a great deal of acclaim from collectors, especially for the exceptional design. Galletta of Powercoin noted that the Choice Mint Odin coin is his best-selling Nordic-themed coin following the Cook Islands one.

A third series, which comes from the Scottsdale Mint and is struck for Niue, is called “Vikings: Gods, Kings, and Warriors.” It will include 15 coins made of two ounces of silver each, with a mintage of 1,999 coins apiece and serial numbers laser-etched along the edge. It began with a launch of three coins, for Odin, Cnut and Ragnar respectively. 

Artist Heidi Wastweet

A fourth series, struck by the Helvetic Mint on behalf of Niue at the initiative of Gainesville Coins in Florida, also began with its own Odin release.

This issue, which was designed and sculptured by renowned medallic artist and sculptor Heidi Wastweet, is the first coin ever to feature high relief striking on both sides. 

The coin is made of two ounces of silver. It also has the lowest mintage among the Odin coins mentioned, at just 750 coins, and comes in a large, luxurious wooden display box that is similar to the boxes that house high-end watches.

Collectors of world coins issued by countries in the British commonwealth often lament the loss of the obverse of those coins to the effigy of Queen Elizabeth that is required on them.

But this coin’s obverse, which uses the Raphael Maklouf effigy of the queen wearing her royal diadem, is different. The left half of the outer rim is filled by a decorative ornamentation of the Midgard Serpent grabbing his tail in his teeth — also an original design created by Wastweet.

Wastweet is also a member of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and is currently serving in her second four-year term on that body, which reviews the designs for all U.S. coins and medals.

The Perth Mint

The newest entrant into the crowded field of Nordic deity coins comes from the mint that started this particular format of numismatic pieces, the Perth Mint in Western Australia. 

The Perth Mint’s series was launched, like the others, with its own Odin coin, released in February 2016. 

Limited to 2,000 coins and issued under the legal authority of Tuvalu, Perth’s Odin sold out at the mint and its authorized distributors almost instantly, and rose substantially in price. Interestingly, it is the only Nordic god coin that shows the king of the Aesir riding his eight-legged horse, Sleipnir.

This series will span three coins, as did the Perth Mint’s previous god and goddesses series. Coins in the series are designed by Ing Ing Jong, one of Perth’s top medallic artists.

The artistic styles used on the coins of each of these series are quite different, with some much more classic in orientation, such as the Cook Islands series, and others much more modern, like the Perth Mint series. 

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