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Mesopotamia – First Coin in the Imperial Art Coin Series

The extremely limited mintage, high relief, antique finish Mesopotamia Imperial Art Agate Crystal 2 Oz Silver Coin 2$ Niue 2014 is the first coin in a new coin series by The Mint of Poland, namely the Imperial Art series. This first coin in the new coin series presents the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia, while the second coin in the series will present the ancient civilization of Egypt. Only 500 of these coins will be minted and distributed worldwide.

Obverse

The coin features Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, on its obverse. This is in acknowledgement of the British Empire, the largest empire in recorded history. It also features the Palace of King Sargon II in Khorsabad (Dur-Sharrukin), the Lamassu, which is a sculpture of a bull with a human face that originated from Sumerian tradition, and a bust of King Sargon II on its obverse.

Mesopotamia Imperial Art Agate Crystal 2 Oz Silver Coin 2$ Niue 2014 Obverse

Mesopotamia Imperial Art Agate Crystal 2 Oz Silver Coin 2$ Niue 2014 – Obverse

Reverse

The Cuneiform, a fragment of the Code of Hummurabi, the River Euphrates, the Ishtar Gate and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, are featured on the reverse of the coin.

Mesopotamia Imperial Art Agate Crystal 2 Oz Silver Coin 2$ Niue 2014 Reverse 1

Mesopotamia Imperial Art Agate Crystal 2 Oz Silver Coin 2$ Niue 2014 – Reverse

All of the above fit in with the theme of the Imperial Art series, namely: Art, architecture and the achievements of the greatest civilizations and empires.

Green Agate Crystal

Each Mesopotamia Imperial Art Agate Crystal 2 Oz Silver Coin 2$ Niue 2014 also has an inlay of green agate crystal, which symbolizes the rich vegetation of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon as well as the rich lands in the river basins of the rivers, Tigris and Euphrates.

Palace of King Sargon II in Khorsabad (Dur-Sharrukin) and Lamassu

The palace of the Assyrian king Sargon II, who ruled from 721 to 705 BC, is located in modern day Khorsabad or a city that was known as Dur-Sharrukin during ancient times, which means “the fortress of Sargon”. This city was built during the reign of king Sargon II to serve as a capital city. It was discovered among other buildings between 1842 and 1844 by Paul-Emile Botta. He was a French archaeologist.

Lamassu

Lamassu – Source of Image: The British Museum

Interesting enough, a pair of colossal human-headed winged bulls was left behind when the French abandoned the site. These magical creatures or hybrid, Assyrian protective deities called Lamassu, who once guarded an entrance to the palace of king Sargon II, were at 16 tons of alabaster each, simply too heavy to move. This was until 1849 when Henry Rawlinson, a British subject, bought them from the French consul and had them moved by having them sawn into several bits.

The Cuneiform

The Cuneiform counts among the oldest systems of writing. It was used to for one write down the Code of Hammurabi, which is a set of Babylonian laws of ancient Mesopotamia that dates back to 1754 BC.

Code of Hammurabi

Code of Hammurabi – Source of Image: Wikipedia

The laws contained in the Code of Hammurabi, one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world, covers subjects ranging from slander to food. E.g. it is stated in Ex. Law #22: “If any one is committing a robbery and is caught, then he shall be put to death” and in Ex. Law #196: “If a man destroy the eye of another man, they shall destroy his eye. If one break a man’s bone, they shall break his bone. If one destroy the eye of a freeman or break the bone of a freeman he shall pay one mana of silver. If one destroy the eye of a man’s slave or break a bone of a man’s slave he shall pay one-half his price.

The ancients seem to have had a much better idea of what justice entails than what the status quo is today.

The River Euphrates

The 1,740 mi (2,800 km) long Euphrates, a river of great historical significance, is the longest river of Western Asia. It runs from eastern Turkey through Syria and Iraq to connect with the Tigris in the Shatt al-Arab, which in turn, empties into the Persian Gulf. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two most notable and defining rivers of Mesopotamia.

The River Euphrates

The River Euphrates – Source of Image: FlickRiver.com

The Ishtar Gate

The Ishtar Gate, constructed by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II on the North side of the city of Babylon around 575 BC, was dedicated to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. It was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World when it was part of the Walls of Babylon. This was until it was replaced by the Lighthouse of Alexandria in the third century BC. It was excavated in the beginning of the 20th century. A reconstruction, using the original glazed bricks, can be seen in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany.

The Ishtar Gate

The Ishtar Gate – Source of Image: Wikipedia

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, as previously mentioned, were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. What makes it even more remarkable is that it were the only wonder of the ancient world whose location cannot be established with 100% certainty.

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Artist depiction of Hanging Gardens of Babylon – Source of Image: Wikipedia

In fact, no definitive archaeological evidence exists to proof that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon ever existed. If it existed, it was probably destroyed after the first century AD. Given the lack of evidence, it seems to be only the romantic ideal of an eastern garden by ancient Greek and Roman writers such as Quintus Curtius Rufus, Strabo and Diodorus Siculus. Needless to say, it is quite funny that the romantic ideal of a few ancient writers is seen as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Safe to say, that if the Hanging Gardens of Babylon existed, it could rightly be seen as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Why should you be interested in the Mesopotamia Imperial Art Agate Crystal coin?

  • Extremely limited (500 coins worldwide).
  • First coin in new “Imperial Art” coin series.
  • High relief, antique finish.
  • Individually numbered – Edge of coin + Certificate of Authenticity (CoA).
  • 2 oz of three nines fine silver (99.9% pure silver).
  • Features one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, namely the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
  • Exclusive coin minted by The Mint of Poland.
  • New minting technology that makes tiny details visible.
  • Contains inlay of real green agate crystal.
  • Each coin comes in a luxury gift box and elegant case.
  • Ideal gift for any occasion, business and otherwise.

Mesopotamia Imperial Art Agate Crystal 2 Oz Silver Coin 2$ Niue 2014 - CoA

Mesopotamia Imperial Art Agate Crystal 2 Oz Silver Coin 2$ Niue 2014 – CoA

Mesopotamia Imperial Art Agate Crystal 2 Oz Silver Coin 2$ Niue 2014 - Themed Case

Mesopotamia Imperial Art Agate Crystal 2 Oz Silver Coin 2$ Niue 2014 – Themed Case

Mesopotamia Imperial Art Agate Crystal 2 Oz Silver Coin 2$ Niue 2014 - Wooden Box

Mesopotamia Imperial Art Agate Crystal 2 Oz Silver Coin 2$ Niue 2014 – Wooden Box

Drawbacks

  • Affordability may be an issue for some, but First Coin Company offers a special 8% discount (Discount Code: MESO12). In addition, only 1 coin will be issued in the series per year, which makes it quite manageable in terms of the overall cost.

Specs

Metal: 2 Troy oz of 99.9% pure silver

Year of Issue: 2014

Country: Niue Island

Weight: 62.60 g

Diameter: 50 mm

Denomination (NZD): $2

Quality/finish: High relief, antique finish.

Mintage: 500

How to Be a Proud Owner of this Exclusive Coin

First Coin Companythe exclusive distributor of this coin in the United States and also official international distributor, is the best place to purchase the Mesopotamia Imperial Art Agate Crystal 2 Oz Silver Coin. They offer a special discount of 8% (Discount Code: MESO12), free worldwide shipping and even go as far as to refund duties and taxes if any. Be sure to get more information here.

Update: Update: First Coin Company will place a few coins with unique serial numbers on their website soon. These coins will have a higher price due to its uniqueness.