Posted on August 04, 2017
They say there are only two guarantees in life: death and taxes. Our time on this Earth is limited, and eventually the final grains of sand will run out on everyone. The concept of mortality is often talked about on television and discussed in real life when buying something like life insurance, but rarely is it captured in the modern day with artistic designs that capture the imagination.
A collaborative effort between the North American Mint and Chautauqua Silver Works resulted in the development of a five-round silver series celebrating all things related to time, from the gears that move time forward and the slow passage of each grain of sand, to the perpetual nature of time. Unstoppable, it just keeps moving forward. Explore the exciting designs in the T.I.M.E. Series of silver rounds available for purchase from JM Bullion.
Each of the silver rounds in the T.I.M.E. Series from the mint has a limited mintage of just 10,000 rounds, with the exception of the final release. In relation to this series, T.I.M.E. stands for “The Increment Measuring Existence,” and it is reflected in each individual design. The individual silver rounds in each release are available inside of AirTite-brand capsules and ship in a pouch. T.I.M.E. Series silver rounds have a proof-like finish that lends slight frosted features to the design sets and a mirror-like background field.
Further, the first four designs in the T.I.M.E. Series have a shared reverse design field, with the exception being the final design. This includes the Chautauqua Silver Works logo. This design features Chautauqua Silver Works name along the top, with the unique engraving of “One More Ounce – One Less Fetter” on the bottom. In the middle of the round’s bullseye design on this face is the weight, purity, and metal content of the round, along with the word “Bullseye” and the periodic number and symbol for Silver (AG 47).
Regarding the final release in the series. The T.I.M.E. – E.M.I.T. silver round closes the series with a lower mintage of 5,000 rounds. This has nothing to do with the popularity to date of the series, but rather the unique design and production of this round. The T.I.M.E. – E.M.I.T. Silver Round is struck with a double obverse design. This means that the design on either side is reflective of the other and similar in nature, yet open to different interpretation.
The true beauty of the T.I.M.E. Series Silver Rounds goes beyond the artwork and designs of each piece. While these are truly beautiful and intricate designs, there is a metaphorical nature to each individual design that leaves them open to the personal interpretation of individual numismatists. Your own concept of time comes through in what you see in each design, with your mind free to interpret the designs to fit your view of time.
For the first release in the series, the obverse face of the Shifting Gears Silver Round includes a collection of interlocking gears. The movement of each gear is impactful upon and required for the passage of time. In the upper right is a gear with hour marks on it, though all of the hours are askew from the typical reading of a clock turning from 12 at the top around clockwise from 1 back to 12. Engravings around the outer rim include the phrase “Shifting Gears on the Perception of Time.” The entire outer rim of the design field itself resembles a gear.
Perhaps the most intriguing design in the series is the Grain of Sand Silver Round. The passage of time is often depicted using an hour glass full of sand. As a commentary on the passage of time from life to death, the primary design of this round includes a giant hour glass that has sand in the upper portion and a baby carriage on top. The sand slowly drains from the top to the bottom portion of the hour glass, which is in the shape of a human skull through which the sand pours out into a grave in the ground, complete with headstone.
Engravings around the outside read “A Grain of Sand … An Increment of Shared Time.” There is a clock on the right-hand side of the design field and a pressure gauge and control valves on the left. The outer rim includes a design reflective of steam piping.
The Perpetual Silver Round is a unique entry in the series in that individual buyers could interpret it two different ways. In fact, the design suggests you can think of it in two ways. Time is perpetual in nature, moving along consistently and without fail despite the life and death of individual human beings. However, we sometimes become trapped in the illusion that our time is perpetual, putting off today things we’d rather do tomorrow, not realizing there’s no guarantee we’ll get there.
In the Perpetual design, you have a square clock in the center with a gear to the right moving the hands of time. From the top an open horn blows wind into a windmill driving its fans, while the bottom includes a metronome and pendulum, each of which provide a sense of limitless movement over time. Engravings around the edge bring the thought process home with the phrase “Perpetual – Time’s Illusion.”
The Portal of Existence Silver Round brings the image of two portals set opposite of one another on the round’s reverse. In between the pair is a giant key, with a clock in the keyloop at the top of the design. Below are two keyholes that key can be placed into, presumably to open either of the portals, but which one will you choose? Engravings along the outer rim read “Portals of Existence” and “Bygone – Intended.”
Finally, the series closes with the aforementioned T.I.M.E. – E.M.I.T. Silver Round. Its double obverse striking means you’ll find a similar design on either side, with varying changes to the designs to set them apart from one another. One side of this silver round has the image of gears and hands from a clock, with the hour marks on the clock face marked in Roman numerals. The background includes a sun and moon in the upper quadrant, with a factor and more gears featured below. The engravings read “T.I.M.E.” and “The Increment Measuring Existence.”
Flip the round over and you’ll find the E.M.I.T. design. This features a similar clock image as the basis of the design field, but with Arabic numerals replacing the Roman numerals. The background field is distinctly different as well, with a depiction of planet Earth in the distance as a spacecraft speeds away from it. The body bears imagery from the surface of Earth with radar arrays pointing upward toward the heavens. Engravings include “E.M.I.T.” and “Existence Measured in Theory.”
North American Mint is the production partner of Chautauqua Silver Works for the T.I.M.E. Series. The mint is located in Rochester, New York, and was founded in 1986 by William J. LaMere Sr. Prior to the founding of the North American Mint, LaMere Sr. had worked with the largest medallic arts business in the country, and brought his own expertise and care to the refining of silver products with the opening of the mint.
Today, the North American Mint continues to produce silver precious metals with the finest quality blends of artistry and technical skill. William J. LaMere Jr. now runs the North American Mint with his brothers Brad and Michael, leading the crafting of privately minted coins, rounds, medallions, bullion and foil stamp products.
Chautauqua Silver Works is located in Western New York, and was founded by Ron Kinney. Kinney is the mind behind each and every design from the private mint, and has created a vast number of popular, low-mintage silver round collections since 2013. The name of his private mint is impressive, with Chautauqua translating to English as “adult education through art, literature, and lectures.” His designs are thought-provoking and live up to the name of his impressive mint.
JM Bullion is committed to keeping our readers, customers, and numismatists informed on interesting news, newly-released silver and gold series, and other tidbits from the precious metals industry. Follow us on Facebook for all the latest and don’t forget you can find gold and silver prices today, and every day, online on our homepage!