Shining seductively, rarely encountered and blessed with a comforting weight, the solidity of gold has a quality of its own. No other precious metal is so loaded with meaning. Among these many related abstractions, we hear of gold’s divinity, its immortality, its purity and its power. By means of this series, we tell the story of the value of gold and the magical role it has played in advanced civilisations.
2019: The Gold of Mesopotamia
2020: The Gold of the Pharaohs
2021: The Gold of the Inca
2022: The Gold of the Scythians
2023: The Gold of India
2024: The Gold of China
Since time immemorial gold has had a special effect on those who behold it.
The Magic of Gold series traces the mysterious nature of gold in Ancient cultures. No other metal has as much symbolic meaning as gold and no other concrete substance has been linked with so many abstract concepts, including heavenliness, immortality, purity and power. The word ‘gold’ is written on each coin in the series in the respective script of the epoch and culture represented on it.
All the coins are a reflection of ancient art treasures. What was made of gold in the past still is today and, as it has for thousands of years, gold still has a mysterious and magical power.
Some 2,500 years ago, the nomadic Scythian people had a talent for celebrating animals. This was helped by an extraordinary sense of beauty that was awakened and nourished by the brilliance of gold – a brilliance showcased on the fourth coin in The Magic of Gold series, which traces the mysterious nature of gold in ancient cultures.
The Scythians were also skilled in domesticating animals. Among the earliest peoples to master mounted warfare, from the 7th to the 3rd century BC the Scythians moved with their horses and sheep from grazing area to grazing area on the steppes of what is now southern Russia and Ukraine. The Scythian culture disappeared a long time ago, but it lives on through the magic of gold. What remains of their long-lost culture are impressive burial mounds, known as kurgans, which are rich in the precious metal. Since the 19th century, the burial robes of Scythian princes decorated with hundreds of gold sheets have been discovered by archaeologists excavating kurgans. Women's veils and bonnets decorated in this way have also been unearthed. Pressed from gold foil, these pieces were often decorated using elements of ‘animal style’ art; the stylised animals were thought to have supernatural powers. Quivers, dagger hilts and scabbards, ornamental shields and sceptre handles decorated with thick gold sheet have also been found, as have neck rings and bracelets made of solid gold.