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SM Mint’s Follow-up to the LUNAR SKULLS 2015 Ghana Year of the Goat Coin: SKULLCOINS MEMENTO MORI – AQUARIUS MEDALS

Author: K. Paul Sankey

Late last year SM Mint and Son-Montuno released their unique interpretation of the lunar coin – The 2015 Ghana Year of the Goat was the first coin in this annual Lunar Skulls series. A new series of art rounds has now been announced as SM Mint’s follow up to the highly successful Lunar Skull Year of the Goat. The SkullCoins production will be released based on the twelve signs of the modern zodiac beginning with Aquarius, The Water Bearer. The theme of these art rounds will be Memento Mori which is a reminder of mortality. There will be three medals available for each of the Zodiac signs: gold, silver, and copper all with limited mintages.

Memento Mori 1

What is the Zodiac?

This is only a brief overview of the subject to help those who are unclear grasp the concept.  The word Zodiac literally means animals – It refers to the patterns or configurations of the animals or symbols as seen in the vast sky’s stars at night. In astrology and historical astronomy the zodiac is broken down into twelve celestial divisions. These divisions are the 12 signs of the Zodiac and can be divided into both masculine and feminine, positive and negative, or active and passive. The masculine signs are Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius, while the feminine signs are Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces. These can also be broken down further into Quaternaries which are sections of three with four symbols each. They are called the Cardinal (moveable) signs, the Fixed signs and the Mutable signs. The Cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn which are the signs of dynamic change, movement, and great vitality. The Fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius and relate to stability, earthiness and fixity – the state of being unchanged or permanent. The determination of the Fixed signs expresses itself in the form of great willpower and they often achieve much more than the other two quaternaries. Yet, they are also opinionated, inflexible, stubborn, rigid, and single minded. The Mutable signs cover Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces which are the adaptable and interchangeable signs capable of molding and modifying circumstances and conditions in life. This astrological sign can be adjustable, understanding, an analyzer, or extrovert.  

Memento Mori 2

Silver Obverse

Memento Mori 3

Silver Reverse

MEMENTO MORI – Not Death but Life?

The subject matter of these medals revolve around the phrase Memento Mori which is Latin for  “Remember that you must die”. In the middle ages funerary art became popular. In what are known as memento mori tombs, below the effigies of the deceased pictured as they were in life, there were placed effigies of their naked decaying corpses or skeletons. Such tomb sculpture reflected a contemporary obsession with the coruption of death. There are many translations and “stories” out there and although Memento Mori seems to have carried a grim connotation to it throughout history – Today it is used as a celebration of life, a reminder of ones mortality and the need to live life to it’s fullest. In it’s art the symbolic reminders of mortality is used heavily throughout and the skull or skeleton is often used. Memento Mori has been linked to many religious passages and a considerable amount of memento mori art is associated with the Mexican festival Day of the Dead, including skull-shaped candies and bread loaves adorned with bread “bones.”

Memento Mori 4

Copper Obverse

Memento Mori 5

Copper Reverse


The Aquarius is the first medal released of the NEW SkullCoins Zodiac series. There will be 12 medals of each version in the series (36 total) with 3 released  around the time that coincides with the Zodiac cycle. All the art rounds will have three options available – 1/10th oz gold version, 1 oz .999 pure silver, and a 1 oz copper version. All three art rounds will have the same obverse but a different reverse is used for each version of the art round and all will have numbering that matches the C.O.A – including the copper version. The silver and copper number will be etched on the rim while the gold will be elsewhere on the art round. The silver and copper will each have an antiqued finish that is done by hand for every round. The gold version will be a traditional proof round.

The US based tattoo artist from Kangaroo Paw Tattoo, Kiana Roo, who created the design for the 2015 Lunar Skulls Year of the Goat has been commissioned by SM Mint for the Aquarius art round and the entire Zodiac series.

The introductory pricing will be $209.95 for the gold, $62.50 for the silver, and $19.95 for the copper medal. These will all have a maximum mintage as follows: 99 gold, 500 silver, and 2000 copper. Each C.O.A will have all variations of the medals listed on each one with the total mintages – the version purchased will be specified with the matching number. The gold and silver art round C.O.As for the Aquarius will all be personally signed by the artist Kiana Roo.

Memento Mori 6

Gold Reverse Design

Why should you be interested in this coin?

– Highly limited

  • 99 – .9999 1/10th gold
  • 500 – .999 1 oz. silver
  • 2000 – 1 oz. copper
  • 2599 TOTAL

– First art round of a new series

– Unique serial # engraved on coin with matching C.O.A

– Each gold and silver Aquarius C.O.A. is autographed by the artist Kiana Roo 

– Antique finish for silver and copper/Proof finish for gold

– Unique design

– Rimless edge on silver and copper art rounds


Metal: 1 Troy oz of 99.9% pure silver

             1/10th Troy oz of 99.99% pure gold

             1 Troy oz pure copper

Finish: Antique/Proof (gold)

Diameter: 39 mm/16.5 mm (gold)

Edge: Rimless/Reeded (gold)

Year of Issue: 2015

Mintage: 99(gold)/500(silver)/2,000(copper)

* Customers that purchase Aquarius from SM Mint at the introductory issue price (for any or all three medals) will have the option to continue the complete series at the issue price for each following release.

Be sure to get more information here.

Skull Coins: