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Tuvalu 2018-P Warfare #2 - Viking Norsemen Beserkers $2 2 Troy Ounce Pure Silver Ultra High Relief Medallic Rimless Antiqued Piedfort Proof P06

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65116
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Get the second in the hugely popular Warfare! series - the Vikings! Viking Norsemen Beserkers storm ashore from their longboats on a catastropic raid on this ultra high relief, two troy ounce, pure silver, rimless medallic antiqued proof!

Talisman Coins and the Perth Mint are excited to present the Viking Norsemen Beserkers 2 Troy Ounce Pure Silver High Relief Antiqued Coin, the second of three coins in the highly popular Warfare series.

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Viking longships under sail, leaving the fjord, with shields on the gunwales.For the superstitious Vikings, a carved dragonhead on the prow kept sea monsters and evil spirits at bay. In this three-coin series, a mix of selective color and engraving highlights the combined Norse artistry and craftsmanship that produced some of history's most legendary ships, which were the epitome of maritime supremacy 1,000 years ago.

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The coin depicts a band of Viking warriors launching a raid from their longships. Charging maniacally through the water, the beserker Norsemen are seen roaring fearsomely to terrify their victims.

To capture the depth and detail of the design, the coin is struck in high relief to a rimless format, and has been individually ‘antiqued’ to give it a unique finish conveying the surface abrasions of an ancient artefact. As a result of this treatment the appearance of each coin may vary.

The following 2 Troy Ounce Pure Silver Antiqued Proof coins are planned for the Warfare series:

    1)  Roman Legions
    2)  Viking Norsemen
    3)  Cavalry

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Fully equipped and heavily armed and armored Vikings - a chieftain and his bodyguard.The Vikings in North America
The first Europeans to explore the New World were known most infamously as brutal warriors, and only more recently as great explorers. The Vikings were seafaring Norse explorers whose great expansion spanned the eighth through the eleventh centuries. Over the course of three hundred years, they would explore and build settlements across northern Europe, Great Britain, Ireland, Greenland, Iceland, and the East Coast of North America.

The Vikings’ characterization as brutal warriors probably has its roots in early attacks on the British and Irish coasts. The Norsemen’s nimble longships - seafaring war galleys oared by dozens of warriors - were ideal for performing lightning-fast raids on unsuspecting vessels and coastal villages. The Norsemen who went to Iceland, Greenland, and North America, however, were generally farmers, tradespeople, and explorers traveling by knarr (merchant ship) and seeking natural resources.

Vikings fighting a battle in winter. Oh no - axe to the groin! Ouch! That's gotta hurt! (Do not attempt this at home.)Contemporary accounts suggest that it was a Norse explorer and ship captain named Bjarni Herjolfsson who first spotted the shores of the New World in the late tenth century, when a storm forced him off course between Iceland and Greenland. He told his compatriots in Greenland about a great forested shore; fifteen years later, Leif Eriksson, son of Eric the Red, used Bjarni’s description to find this land once again. Leif called it Vinland, Wineland - a land where grapes grew wild. Eriksson’s discovery triggered many more years of exploration in the region.

Scholars today believe that Vinland probably referred to a broad region encompassing Newfoundland, Labrador, and the eastern seaboard south to at least Maine. L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland is the earliest known European settlement in the New World. The small Viking camp of fewer than ten buildings was likely a base camp for summer explorations farther afield. Today, four of the Norse buildings at the L’Anse aux Meadows site have been reconstructed. Special exhibits showcase the many artifacts discovered there, highlighting the lifestyle of these intrepid early explorers. The site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.
                                                                                                                                       Image courtesy of:  www.hurstwic.org
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Greek Corinthian Helmet and the skull reportedly found inside it from the Battle of Marathon, now residing in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto.What is a Piedfort?
Hard to find and popular with collectors for more than a century, piedforts are highly sought after. We get asked all the time, "What is a piedfort?" There are two different, but related, stories of the origin of the word "piedfort". The first says that it literally means "strong foot" in French (from pied, foot and fort, strong). The second says this word was appropriated by the mint centuries ago to mean "heavy measure" or "heavy weight". In both cases, the sense of serious heft to the coin is obvious.

Often the word "piedfort" is translated as "double-thick", but this is neither a literal translation nor a precisely accurate definition. Numismatically speaking, any coin that is 50% or more thicker than a standard version qualifies as a piedfort, although some piedforts are, indeed, twice as thick as normal.

Finally, the age-old question, "How is the word pronounced?" Coming from French, it is not pronounced as it is spelled; that is, don't say, "pide - fort". Rather, "pee - ay - four" (three syllables) is a good approximation.

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Obverse
The coin depicts a band of Viking warriors launching a raid from their longships. Charging maniacally through the water, the beserker Norsemen are seen roaring fearsomely to terrify their victims. The ultra high relief is absolutely spectacular. When combined with the antique finish, which outlines and highlights all the different design elements to incredible effect, a tremendous sensation of depth and perspective is created, in the best tradition of medallic art. There are no legends on the obverse to detract from the beauty and power of the design. The Perth Mint's "P" mint mark can be found at the 3:30 position near the edge.

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Reverse
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, in crowned profile facing right. This portrait, featuring Her Majesty wearing a tiara and pearl earrings, was executed by the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley. The legend ELIZABETH II, the date of issue and denomination also appear. The legend 2 OZ 9999 SILVER guarantees the weight and purity.

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Packaging
The coin is enclosed inside a handsome taupe leatherette, clamshell-style presentation case, lined with black velvet and satin, and protected by a full color outer box. An individually-numbered certificate of authenticity is included.

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Specifications
Country Tuvalu
Mint Perth Mint of Australia
Year of Issue 2018
   
Face Value Two Dollars
Weight 62.213 g
Diameter 40.60 mm
Gauge (Thickness)   6.42 mm
Mintage Limit    2,000
   
Finish Antique with Ultra High Relief
Composition .999 Fine (Pure) Silver
Edge Plain
   
Artist Lucas Bowers (obverse)
Ian Rank-Broadley (reverse)
Certificate Individually Numbered

Seafaring Warriors
The Vikings are the Norse (Scandinavian) explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided and settled in wide areas of Europe from the late eighth to the early eleventh century. They burst out of Scandinavia in the late 700s, seeking both wealth and lands to colonize. These Norsemen used their famed longships to travel as far east as Constantinople and the Volga River in Russia, and as far west as Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland, and as far south as Al Andalus. This period of Viking expansion – known as the Viking Age – forms a major part of the medieval history of Scandinavia, Britain, Ireland and the rest of Europe in general.

The Vikings sailed most of the North Atlantic, reaching south to North Africa and east to Russia, Constantinople and the Middle East, as looters, traders, colonists, and mercenaries. Vikings under Leif Ericson, heir to Erik the Red, reached North America, and set up a short-lived settlement in present-day L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

Once seen by the classical mindset as northern barbarians, the historical image of the Vikings now views them as aspirational, adventurous people, with ingenuity in ship and town construction, and a proficiency as exploring seafarers and traders to match. And of course, they were the greatest warriors of their age!

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Viking Arms and Armor
A Dane Axe or Danish Axe, with a decorated or engraved head or blade, denoting the owner's wealth and social status.According to custom, all free Norse men were required to own weapons, as well as permitted to carry them at all times. These arms were also indicative of a Viking's social status: a wealthy Viking would have a complete ensemble of a helmet, shield, chainmail shirt, and sword. A typical bondi (freeman) was more likely to fight with a spear and shield, and most also carried a seax as a utility knife and side-arm. Bows were used in the opening stages of land battles, and at sea, but tended to be considered less "honorable" than a hand weapon. Vikings were relatively unusual for the time in their use of axes as a main battle weapon. The Húscarls, the elite guard of King Cnut (and later King Harold II) were armed with two-handed axes which could split shields or metal helmets with ease.

The Dane Axe is a type of polearm, primarily used during the transition between the European Viking Age and early Middle Ages. Other names for the weapon include Danish Axe, English Long Axe, and Hafted Axe. The blade itself was reasonably light and forged very thin, making it superb for cutting. The thickness of the body above the edge is as thin as 2 mm. Many of these axes were constructed with a reinforced bit, typically of a higher carbon steel to facilitate a harder, sharper edge. Average weight of an axe this size is between 2 and 4 pounds (1 and 2 kg). This complex construction results in a lively and quick weapon with devastating cutting ability.

All of this calls to mind that most famous paean to the Norse, Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song:

    We come from the land of the ice and snow,
    From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
    The hammer of the gods, we'll drive our ships to new lands,
    To fight the horde, singing and crying: "Valhalla, I am coming!"

    On we sweep with threshing oar,
    Our only goal will be the western shore.
    How soft your fields so green, can whisper tales of gore,
    Of how we calmed the tides of war. We are your overlords.

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Did you know…
 - The Viking landing on Canada's east coast occurred roughly 500 years before the North American arrival of early European explorers such as Christopher Columbus, John Cabot and Jacques Cartier!
 - Located on Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula, L'Anse aux Meadows is the only authenticated Viking settlement in North America. A small cloak pin discovered in 1968 offered the first proof of a Norse encampment on our shores. In 1978, the site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 - The term dreki (dragon) could also apply to two other types of ships that may have had a dragonhead raised on the prow: the skeid, which was a narrow warship that was better suited for rowing, and the larger busse, which was sturdier in rough seas.
 - The origin of the word Viking isn't clear. There is still much debate, but one theory suggests the word comes from the Old Norse word víkingr, meaning a person from vík (an inet or bay) or Víken, an area in southern Norway.
The Island Nation of Tuvalu
Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean midway between Hawaii and Australia. Its nearest neighbors are Kiribati, Samoa and Fiji. It is comprised of four reef islands and five true atolls. Its population of 11,992 makes it the third-least populated independent country in the world, with only Vatican City and Nauru having fewer inhabitants. It is also the second-smallest member by population of the United Nations. In terms of physical land size, at just 10 square miles Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country in the world, larger only than the Vatican City, Monaco and Nauru.

The first inhabitants of Tuvalu were Polynesian people, who arrived about 3000 years go. The islands came under Great Britain's sphere of influence in the late 19th century. The Ellice Islands were administered by Britain as part of a protectorate from 1892 to 1916 and as part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony from 1916 to 1974. In 1974 the Ellice Islanders voted for separate British dependency status as Tuvalu, separating from the Gilbert Islands which became Kiribati upon independence. Tuvalu became fully independent within The Commonwealth in 1978. with Queen Elizabeth II as titular head of state.

Because Tuvalu has few natural resources it has been dependent in recent years upon aid from larger, more developed nations, including Australia, New Zealand and the United States. The Perth Mint of Australia is officially commissioned by the government of Tuvalu to produce legal tender coinage for the island nation.



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