The Bank of Greece will issue (3rd July) new collector coins minted in gold which is part of a themed series entitled “Greek Mythology ― the Olympian Gods.” The latest coin features Demeter, sister of Zeus, Poseidon, and Pluto. She was the goddess of agriculture, vegetation, and fertility.
Everyone familiar with the entertaining tales of the mythical stories of the Greek gods (and many of the Roman gods) knows their lives were extraordinary and left us mere mortals with lessons on what to expect in the way of repercussions or punishment if we displeased those who lived high in the heavens. By Zeus, Demeter bore a daughter, Persephone, whom Pluto, the god of the underworld, fell in love with and abducted. The distraught Demeter’s wanderings in search of her daughter brought her to the village of Eleusis. Outraged, she suspended the powers of fertility, causing drought and famine throughout the land. To alleviate the threat to mankind, Zeus decided to intervene, whereby Pluto consented to Persephone spending six months a year with her mother on Earth.
In exchange for spending the remaining six with Pluto in the underworld, Demeter was compelled to teach the art of agriculture to Triptolemos, son of the king of Eleusis, who later imparted it to the rest of mankind. Today, the image of Demeter is still referenced with the hopes of a good harvest. Her powers of fertility spread further afield and were also the focus for prayers for an abundance of children by many ancient societies. It was not unusual to see her likeness on coins issued in Greece and Rome along with stalks of wheat symbolising agriculture. An image of the goddess of fertility was last depicted on a Greek circulation coin when 10-drachma silver pieces were issued in 1930.
The Hellenic State Mint produces the Proof quality gold coins at their facilities in Athens on behalf of the Bank of Greece and are designed by M. Antonatou. The obverse side includes an image of a seated Demeter holding a staph in her left arm, with her right hand clasping her cloak. To her left is the text ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΜΥΘΟΛΟΓΙΑ (“Hellenic Mythology”) and her name ΔΗΜΗΤΡΑ (“Demeter”), along with the year of issue and mintmark from the Hellenic Mint.
The reverse side includes a collection of wheat stalks centred with the Greek crest super-imposed over the stems of the wheat. The text ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΉ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΊΑ (“Hellenic Republic”) and the denomination of the coin, 100 ΕΥΡΩ, are placed on either side of the stalks.
|3.89 g||17.5 mm||Proof||
Available from the 3rd July, each coin is encapsulated and presented in a matte-polished wood custom case and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For the purchase of one (1) coin per person after their official release date, collectors residing in Greece can visit the Bank of Greece in Athens in person. Those outside Greece are asked to e-mail a request using the relevant ordering form to the following mailing address: .