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    Modern Numismatics

    Louis Golino has been a collector of American and world coins since childhood and has written about coins since 2009. He writes about modern coins and other numismatic issues for Coin World. He is a founding member of the Modern Coin Forum.

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  • Eternal Sculptures Series Continues with Venus De Milo Coin

    ?When it comes to high-end, luxurious modern world coins, subject matter is critical as it helps determine the design and how the coin is produced. And while there are plenty of interesting topics depicted on such coins, many of the best ones, as I have argued before, deal with the 3 A’s: art, architecture, and astronomy, topics that all hold great appeal for your columnist. Such coins combine gorgeous artwork with themes that enrich the mind and expand one’s cultural and scientific horizons.?

    In the realm of art, modern numismatic issues have tended to focus mainly on famous paintings and not as much on other types of art such as sculpture. But last year Italian coin dealer Powercoin teamed up with Coin Invest Trust and B.H. Mayer to launch an interesting new series called Eternal Sculptures that highlights some of the world’s greatest and most significant works of sculpture. The first coin depicted Italian neoclassical artist Antonio Canova’s Psyche and Cupid. Having seen this piece, I can attest to its beauty and high level of craftsmanship.
    The second is now available for pre-order with shipment expected around late April, and this time the Venus de Milo, one of the greatest works of ancient Greek sculpture, is the topic. This amazing marble sculpture, which stands 6 feet, 8 inches high, was made between 130 and 100 B.C. and is believed to be of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Experts think it is the work of Alexandros of Antioch, and the statue was discovered in 1820 on the Greek islands, Milos by a peasant and later sold to French explorers. It resides permanently in the Louvre museum in Paris.   
    The statue is best known for its two-missing arms and was promoted by the French in the 19th century as “the epitome of graceful female beauty,” according to Wikipedia, despite the condition in which it exists, which also includes a broken nose. Before it was damaged, the statue showed Aphrodite holding an apple in one hand.   
    Like the previous coin in this series, the new issue is made of two ounces of silver. Rather than have a large diameter, it is a piedfort, with the additional weight in the thickness to enable it to be struck in stunning high-relief using CIT’s Smartminting on both sides, which respectively show the front and back of the upper portion of the statue. In addition, it combines a special white marble-effect on the design of the statue with a black proof background for maximum contrast between design devices and the field and also sports an intricate border. The mintage is 999 coins.
    The 2017 Venus de Milo coin, which is struck for the island nation of Palau, carries a legal tender value of $10, and can be ordered from Powercoin, First Coin Company, and The Coin Shoppe.