Modern wildman taler from Africa issued as 5-ounce tribute
- Published: May 15, 2023, 9 AM
Germany’s “Wildman” is an iconic numismatic image, thanks to appearances on multiple coins from Brunswick and other German states from the 16th to 19th centuries.
A new noncirculating legal tender Proof silver 5,000-franc coin from Cameroon honors that imagery with a modern interpretation, in high relief and with a limited mintage.
Justin Meunier of Boardwalk Numismatics cooperated with Coin Invest Trust in Liechtenstein and modern coin distributor Jon Hawes (of Rogue’s Island Mint) to develop the project.
“As [is true for] many, one of my favorite themes in world numismatics is the German Wildman,” said Meunier.
What’s a Wildman?
Associated most often with Brunswick and the surrounding areas, the Wildman has appeared on coats of arms and in art since the 12th century. Derived from the Roman deity Silvanus, the god of the woods, the Wildman evolved over the years, and has impacted all sorts of world mythologies since then.
“Many feel that the Wildman has influenced other mythological creatures we are more familiar with, such as Sasquatch and the Yeti, and even more contemporary representations of the Norse god Wotan,” Meunier said.
In 2022 at the New York International Numismatic Convention, Meunier had a conversation with representatives from a couple of world mints on his thoughts about improving and evolving the quality of some of the modern world commemoratives.
“One area I emphasized was a lack of classical numismatic designs being created, with many countries issuing modern pieces that seemed a bit kitschy,” he said.
These conversations led to a partnership with CIT, who handles the minting of many of the world’s highest quality modern commemoratives, and Hawes, who has handled the distribution of modern bullion issues from around the world.
Cameroon, with its heritage as the former German colony of Kamerun, seemed a perfect option for this Germanic themed piece.
Creating a commemorative
Meunier said he worked with CIT “and their talented designers every step of the way until we reached a design I felt paid proper tribute to one of the iconic world themes.”
The obverse is based on the popular notgeld issue of 1922 from Harz (an area in Germany), with some modern updates and “Easter eggs” (hidden objects) in the design.
“See if you can find all of the creatures hidden in there besides the Wildman himself,” he said.
The reverse is an homage to the classic depictions from the Brunswick talers of the 16th and 17th century.
The 2022 Black Proof Ultra High Relief 5-ounce .999 fine silver coin weighs 155.52 grams and measures 65 millimeters in diameter.
These coins are individually edge numbered and have custom engraved wooden boxes.
The issue is limited to a mintage of 250 pieces and retails for $495 plus $10 shipping anywhere in the U.S.
To order or learn more, visit the firm’s website, www.boardwalknumismatics.com.
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