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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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  • New Coin in Volcano Series for Mount Vesuvius

    Following on the success of last year's coin about the Erta Ale volcano in Ethiopia, the Mint of Poland has produced the second coin in its volcano series that has one release per year.  These coins are issued under the legal authority of Niue, a British Commonwealth nation.

    This time Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii, Italy is the subject.  And Vesuvius is one of the best-known volcanoes in the world.

    The new coin has many interesting features that really bring Vesuvius to life.

    First, the coin is concave on one side and convex on the other and shows details of the volcano on both sides.  The convex obverse shows the volcano itself and its craters as well as a a smaller than usual effigy of Queen Elizabeth, while the concave reverse is shaped like the crater at the top of a volcano.  At the center is a real piece of lava inlay that actually comes from the Vesuvius volcano.

    Second, the coin is struck in ultra high relief with an amazing depth of 8 millimeters, and comes with an antique silver finish.  That makes this coin just about the deepest relief ever seen on a coin.

    In addition, only 688 of these coins are being minted, and they come housed in an attractive wooden box with a thematic colored package and a certificate of authenticity.

    The coin is made of two troy ounces of .999 fine silver, has a diameter of 50 millimeters, and a weight of 62.2 grams.

    Mount Vesuvius is best known for the eruption there in 79 A.D., which killed 16,000 people and destroy the city of Pompeii and several nearby towns.  Pompeii was legendary for its collection of sculptures and art works, including many of an erotic nature.

    Vesuvius is located 5.6 miles east of Naples, a major Italian city and port in the southern part of the country. It is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because it is located in such a densely populated area with 3 million people just miles away.

    The volcano has erupted many times since then, and it is the only one in Europe that has erupted in the past century.

    The Vesuvius coin is being sold  in the U.S. and overseas by First Coin Company (www.firstcoincompany.com), which is an official distributor for the coin.  The coins have a release price of $249.90 with free worldwide shipping, and if you are assessed any import fees or duties, First Coin Company will refund those to you.

    The coin is expected to ship later in November, but delays with this type of release are not unusual.  Because prices fluctuate and usually increase after pre-release, it is generally a good idea to buy earlier even if that means waiting for delivery.

    I expect this coin to sell quickly given the popularity of the 2014 issue and of the subject matter.  Readers can get 3% off the price from First Coin Company with the code, "THANKYOU."