Posted on December 22, 2017
The 2 oz Egyptian Gods High Relief Silver Round Series left fans hanging on for a while waiting for its third release. The popular collection debuted with the design of Cleopatra and followed up with Anubis. The initial designs saw a drop off in final mintage, from 38,767 for the Cleopatra design to 16,142 for the Anubis offering, but with distance between the releases there is pent up demand for the third design.
Following in the footsteps of the first two pieces is the Egyptian god Sobek, a deity associated with the Nile River crocodile. Like many Egyptian gods, his depiction is a combination of the human form and an animal. Although this design is new in the series, many of the features included remain the same. For example, the 2 oz high-relief strikings are done on 40mm silver blanks with .999 pure silver content. Learn more about Sobek and the future of the series below!
The history of Sobek in Ancient Egyptian culture is a complex and ever-changing one. Among the deities of the Egyptian pantheon, he enjoyed an extremely longstanding presence in the minds of Egyptian people. The first mentions of Sobek originate during the Old Kingdom period of Ancient Egypt in 2686 BC, and he remains a popular deity through the Roman period of occupation until roughly 350 AD.
Sobek is closely associated with the Nile crocodile, and he is often depicted in one of two ways. He is most commonly featured as a human male with a crocodile’s head, though he is sometimes depicted simply in the form of a crocodile. He was often associated, because of his powerful figure, with the power of pharaohs, fertility, and military prowess. However, he also served as a protective deity often invoked by those looking for protection against the dangers of the Nile River.
Among his many roles, Sobek is associated with fertility based upon the origins of his name. Sbk, in ancient Egyptian, is derived from a verb roughly translating as “to impregnate.” Scholars debate this particular association with Sobek, but it stuck nonetheless among Ancient Egyptians. His greatest period of prominence came during the Middle Kingdom from 2055 BC to 1650 BC. The pharaoh Amenemhat III was very intrigued by the Faiyum region in Egypt, which was associated closely with Sobek. The pharaoh began to build many temples in Sobek’s name, and eventually Sobek was even fused with the falcon-headed god Horus, the god of divine kingship. This is when Sobek derived an association with pharaonic power.
The designer of the Egyptian Gods High Relief Series is Heidi Wastweet, who took her time in developing an accurate depiction of Sobek for this third round in the collection. A famed medallic sculptor, Wastweet dug deep into ancient mythology and history in the preparation of this round design.
All of the Egyptian Gods Silver Rounds share a number of common features, which include:
On the obverse of the 2 oz Sobek Silver Round is the imposing figure of the god Sobek. His massive male figure is powerful and stands confidently with his arms crossed. He wields a scepter in his arms, and his head is that of a menacing crocodile. Symbolism associated with Sobek abounds on this side of the round, including the waves of the Nile River in the background and the reeds that dot the shoreline as well.
The reverse of all Egyptian Gods Silver Rounds features a set of common design features with one element changed to reflect the represented god. There is a pyramid in the background with a wall of hieroglyphs featured behind it. In the foreground, there is a presentation table that has the figure of a crocodile on it as a representative of Sobek.
Sunshine Mint is the production partner in the Egyptian Gods Series, providing the silver blanks used in the coining process and handling all of the striking work of dies. The private American mint was founded in the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in 1979 and has grown to become one of the largest, private American mints in the country today. It is well-known as a full-service mint that sources silver blanks, including those used in the production of American Silver Eagle coins by the United States Mint.
In addition to providing blanks and coining products for other operations, Sunshine Mint has its own product lineup to offer to investors and collectors. The mint has a series of silver rounds and bars for sale that feature the Sunshine Mint brand, as well as other imagery from product such as historic American coins (Walking Liberty, Morgan Silver Dollar Round, and Buffalo Nickel Silver Rounds, for example).
Today, the profile of Sunshine Mint expands beyond the state of Utah. In 2011, the mint commissioned a retail location in Shanghai, China, and another was commissioned in 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 2 oz Sobek Silver Round is now available to you from JM Bullion. If you’re interested in catching up on the collection, we also have remaining Cleopatra and Anubis Silver Rounds in stock as well! Stay tuned to the JM Bullion blog for more industry news and information on exciting releases to come as 2017 draws to a close and 2018 nears. You can also follow us on Facebook for updates and information when blog posts go live!