World Coins

Royal Mint celebrates bicentennial of ’Frankenstein’

Mary Godwin was just 18 years old when, on a stormy night in 1816 on the shores of Lake Geneva, she and a group of friends, including poet and future husband Percy Shelley, regaled themselves with ghost stories and a discussion about the nature of human life.

That night, she dreamed about a scientist obsessed with the act of reanimating a corpse sewn from various bodies, a nightmare that would become the 1818 horror masterpiece Frankenstein.

The Royal Mint is celebrating the bicentennial of the publication of the first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus with a £2 coin offered in multiple versions, having varying compositions, weights and finishes.

The reverse of the coin is stark, featuring the last name of scientist Victor Frankenstein who would create and reanimate the Creature, an act of hubris that would lead to tragedy, not only for Frankenstein but also for his family and the Creature itself.

The typography of the name in the reverse design, by Thomas T. Docherty of the Royal Mint design staff, “was inspired by ECG, the jagged pulse of a heartbeat,” Docherty is quoted as saying in a Royal Mint press release, adding “before the name there is nothing, then the spark of life, which dies to nothing once more.”

Death to Traitors tokenInside Coin World: Civil War token with a macabre scene: Columns exclusive to the Oct. 22 issue of Coin World focus on Death to Traitors, notgeld, and superclashes.

The obverse depicts Elizabeth II.

The ringed-bimetallic coin is offered in four versions, made of base metal, silver (normal and piedfort thicknesses), and gold. Mintages and prices vary by coin, as do finishes. Order from the Royal Mint website

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