Gargoyles and Grotesques series debuts with ‘The Decay’
To keep the focus on the artwork, the reverse, which is
where the image of the gargoyle appears, will have only one inscription, the
name of the series, while the coat of arms of Chad appears on the obverse side.
Based on the success of recent coin series that depict
skulls, dragons, and various mythical creatures, modern coin enthusiasts
clearly have an appreciation for coins with unusual and scary designs such as
this series carries.
The first coin, which is being issued in silver with two
finishes, Antique and Proof, depicts a gargoyle from the National Cathedral in
Washington, D.C., called “The Decay.” This gargoyle, which was one of the first
added to the building during the 1960’s, is considered to be one of the
scariest, making it a great choice for the new coin series, which is likely to
The cathedral is the seat of the Diocese of Washington and
the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and is visited by thousands of
people every year in addition to those who worship and attend mass services
The cathedral is the sixth largest in the world and second
largest in the U.S. and is widely admired for its stunning architecture,
including the 112 gargoyles on the top of the building.
Not everyone knows that gargoyles are not simply artistic
details added to make a building look more interesting but, in fact, serve a
very practical purpose, which is to divert water during rain storms away from
the walls of the cathedral so that the walls do not sustain damage. They are,
essentially, very elaborate waterspouts.
While by legend gargoyles, which originated in ancient times
and were popularized in medieval times, are said to ward off dark forces, they
are also part of the gutter system. And they are especially useful in an area
like Washington, D.C., which is known for heavy thunderstorms.
The difference between a gargoyle and a grotesque is that
the latter is not part of the water drainage system and is only a decorative
depiction of a fanciful creature.
Gargoyles were first used in ancient Egypt, where
lion-headed figures served the same drainage purpose. They were also used by
the Romans, the Greeks, and Etruscans.
The new coin, made of once ounce of .999 fine silver, is
struck in ultra-high relief to bring out all the intricate details of the Decay
gargoyle design. Its display box bears the GG logo and the name of the series
and holds a serialized certificate of authenticity.
The coin’s total mintage is 999, including 799 of the Antique
finish and 200 of the Proof finish. It is denominated as 1,000 francs.
The coin is available from official distributors, including
in the U.S., First Coin Company (https://firstcoincompany.com/S/index.php?route=product/search&sort=p.price&order=ASC&filter_tag=GGSERIES) and in Italy, Powercoin (http://www.powercoin.it/en/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=decay&submit_search).