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The Guy Fawkes mask is well-known today for its adoption by the activist group “Anonymous” or from the film, V for Vendetta. Now, for the first time, this recognized symbol has been struck in high relief as a legal tender silver coin! But what is this coin, and who is Guy Fawkes?
An exciting new coin has just been released by the cooperative efforts of Coin Invest Trust (CIT) and the Powercoin Minting firm in Rome, Italy. Known for their work designing and producing a number of exceptional and uniquely shaped coins over the years, these organizations are sure to astonish collectors and activists alike with this latest release. Struck from 1 Troy oz. of .999 fine silver, this coin has a quality, colorized design portraying a well-known symbol in the modern age, with origins back over 400 years – the Guy Fawkes Mask.
The infamous Guy Fawkes (born “Guido” Fawkes on April 13, 1570) is known for his central role in the gunpowder plot of 1605. Historian Antonia Fraser described Fawkes as being "a tall, powerfully built man, with thick reddish-brown hair, a flowing mustache in the tradition of the time, and a bushy reddish-brown beard.” Oswald Tesimond, school friend of Fawkes, stated that he was “a man highly skilled in matters of war.” He also described him as "pleasant of approach and cheerful of manner, opposed to quarrels and strife ... loyal to his friends."
Fawkes’ strong Catholic childhood put him at significant odds with the then Protestant king, James I. He attempted to receive foreign support in order to spark a Catholic rebellion in Great Britain, but he suffered little success. Finally in 1604, he found a group of men with similar interests, and a plan was hatched. Fawkes and twelve other conspirators would kill the current king and place his successor, Princess Elizabeth, on the throne as a Catholic Monarch. They planned to do this by blowing up the Parliament House with gunpowder!
After securing the cellar of the House of Parliament, gunpowder was accumulated and hidden under firewood and charcoal. This left only the critical role of Guy Fawkes. His wartime expertise had given him the knowledge to source the large quantity of gunpowder, but also left him the job of igniting the fuse. Unfortunately for Fawkes and the other plotters, this plan, although close, never reached its fruition. On the morning of November 5th, 1605, just hours before the King was to take his seat in the rooms above this cellar where 36 barrels of black powder were stored, Fawkes was discovered and captured.
This is an important part of British history, and the name Guy Fawkes has become synonymous with the gunpowder plot of 1605. Masks showing a stylized depiction of Guy Fawkes have been around since the Victorian era. Children were known to wear masks during Bonfire Night where Fawkes's effigy was traditionally burned as a celebration of the attempt. Over the years, the mask used on these effigies has become a symbol for activist groups such as the hacker group “Anonymous.” Now, this jovial depiction of Guy Fawkes’ face is celebrated in silver!
Designed with a stunning porcelain effect that is only possible with CIT's SmartMinting technology, this coin was struck in high relief. The obverse of this coin depicts a man or woman wearing the Guy Fawkes mask. Because this particular image shows the wearer of the mask in a hoodie, it lends a certain modern feel. Synonymous with modern-day activist groups such as computer hacker group, “Anonymous,” the Guy Fawkes mask has continued to be a relevant and recognizable symbol. Collectors might notice the wreath of olive branches in the background looks very similar to the edges of the United Nations symbol. Additionally, an accurate depiction of Guy Fawkes’ signature, acquired from historical documents and preserved in accuracy, is present on the bottom right side of this design.
Struck using 1 oz. of .999 fine silver, this commemorative coin was minted in 2016 as legal tender of the Cook Islands. It depicts an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II that was created by artist Ian Rank-Broadley and has been used on commonwealth coinage for quite some time. The inscriptions “5 DOLLARS,” “COOK ISLANDS,” “2016,” “ELIZABETH II,” and the artist’s initials “IRB” all make up the reverse design. To make this coin even more intriguing, the Guy Fawkes Silver Coin is the first-ever, "black proof" coin. This new approach used to create high-contrast details gives the background of this coin a darker-than-usual look.
The coin is presented in its original packaging – an attractive black display box, with a soft interior to safely hold your coin. This box allows you to easily see the high relief strike, brilliant proof finish, and astonishing colorization effects that make this beautiful coin. Examining it in person leaves no doubt of the artistic skill and the precision of the minting press. Collectors are sure to consider the quality and visual appeal of this coin, the growing popularity of the use of the Guy Fawkes mask and the limited mintage of only 999 coins, when considering its acquisition.
While this coin has not yet been released from the Mint, it will be available for purchase at MCM soon. These coins will be available in their original Mint display box, as well as graded by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). Make sure to keep an eye out on our website, or sign-up for our email subscription to find out when these coins are for sale!
||Oleg Zamansky is the President and CEO of Coin Maestro, LLC and is an expert in foreign coins, paper money, medals, and sets. Oleg's coin career started in 1983 when his great-grandmother gave him his first foreign coin - 1 Israeli Shequel and ever since, his numismatic journey began. According to Mr. Zamansky, "Due to frequent volatile markets, people need to secure their investments and numismatics is the best way. Coin collecting is the most educating, investment protective business today, and also quite fun." Mr. Zamansky graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2001, became a partner at RINA Systems, LLC in 2005, and holds a 3rd degree black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do. Today, he is a member of the American Numismatic Association and the Numismatic Guarantee Corporation. Currently, Mr. Zamansky resides with his family in Cincinnati, Ohio and is a contributing writer for ModernCoinMart. His thoughts and opinions may not be shared with MCM or its staff.|