Three commemorative coins of the Bank of Russia produced by the craftsmen of Goznak were chosen among the best of the 268 coins from 27 countries of the world submitted to “Coin Constellation-2017” contest. 25.09.2017
Anton Schablykin, an artist of the Design Center of Goznak, created the sketches of all the five coins of the series.
“On the coin reverse, the modern view of the Novodevichy Convent is depicted. Behind the convent, in the background, there is a copy of a miniature from the Illuminated Compiled Chronicle narrating the convent construction. The Seal of Vassily III, the Convent founder and the initiator of its construction, decorated with a floral ornament, is depicted in the foreground,” said Anton Schablykin. “This composition appeared during the study of the history of the convent and the country of that period. Such a study precedes the work upon almost every coin and is a part of a medal artist’s work. The history of the Novodevichy Convent is complicated, dramatic, and we have touched upon a few brightest moments on the other coins of the series”.
The miniature of “Illuminated Compiled Chronicle” is carried out on the coin with the help of laser matting. The coin relief is high and expressive. To a large extent, it is an achievement of a great sculptor Andrey Bessonov. Creating a coin sketch, an artist naturally tries to achieve a maximal effect by means of a composition and visual effects. However, the coin will never happen without the participation of a large number of specialists – sculptors, engravers and technologists.
The coin is made of pure gold. The content of the precious metal in purity is 1000.0 g. the coin diameter is 100.0 (±0.80) mm. The milled edge is of 360 riffles. The coin is made in “proof-like” quality. It was struck in the number of 59 pieces.
The winner in the “Successful Artistic Solution” category is “Great Imperial Crown” silver coin (special edition) put in circulation within the framework of the “Diamond Fund of Russia” series. Anton Schablykin also designed all the nine coins of the series.
“When it was decided to depict the Crown of the Russian Empire bestrewn with diamonds, it was necessary to make the diamonds play with facets, their relief image preserve the look of diamonds and transmit the light refracted on the facets,” the artist shared his impressions. As a result, the diamonds on the coin really shine and evoke associations with precious stones glittering, but there is no direct imitation of brilliance on the coin.
The crown relief has been developed in detail. Moreover, unlike other relief details of the majority of the classic coins, it is not matted. Shimmering of diamonds is clearly seen on the coin because of the metallic shine and detailed faceting that required additional efforts of the engravers and programming specialists. The faceted metal reflects the light in a way similar to that of faceted crystal and diamonds. The technology and the principle of unmated surface processing adds a strongly pronounced “diamond aura” to the whole coin series.
The crown of the Russian Empire is depicted against the background of a traditional Russian ornament. Because the background is matted, the glittering image of the crown has a well-defined relief silhouette and looks beautiful, clear and monumental. The detailed, carefully worked background is defused with laser matting so that its details did not deflect attention away from the main composition element.
Speaking about this coin, Anton Schablykin accentuated the skills of Sculptor A. Dolgopolova and the specialists of the tool shop who manufactured the tools for this coin. Every facet of every diamond in the crown was processed manually. Every stone in the crown was perfected separately. The experience showed that if one does not do that, the bunch of stones turns into a shapeless heap, and the stones remind of beads or muddy drops. Only manual faceting of every element provides the effect of precious stone glittering.
The coin is made of sterling silver. The content of the metal in purity is 150.5 g. the coin diameter is 60.0 (±0.50) mm. The milled edge is of 360 riffles. The coin is struck in “proof” quality in the number of 150 pieces.
In the “Coin Classic” category, the second prize was given to a gold coin of “The 150th Anniversary of Foundation of the Russian Historical Society” series with “Nestor the Chronicler” work by Sculptor Mark Antokolskiy depicted on it. Anton Schablykin is the author of the reverse of all the three coins of the series too. A. Bessonov is the sculptor.
According to the artist, coin modeling is on the verge of graphics and sculpture. The sense of relief is necessary here. When a sculptor models a coin or a medal, it turns 2.5 mm high on the average. Moreover, it is important for modeling not to be flat but have a correct balance and remain expressive and artistically valuable.
When we make coins like “The Russian Historical Society”, it is important to choose the best aspect angle and model the coin excellently.
The coin-making technology also dictates its conditions – if “proof” technology is applied, the image should have a distinct silhouette collecting the whole composition. If the coin is miniature, the viewer should read not only the main visual objects, but the artistic idea too. A small coin is a symbol, an artistic hieroglyph, and nothing should prevent its reading. The coin size dictates its artistic laconism.
In this case, it was important for the sculpture of Nestor the Chronicler to be recognized at first sight because it is an important and hieratic sculpture of sorts for the Russian decorative culture.
The coin has no traditional background. There is an empty mirror area behind Nestor. On the one hand, this emptiness is caused with the coin size – any elements inscribed into such a small coin would become an artistic gorge. But on the other hand, the emptiness of the mirror field is a multidimensional artistic element. If the coin is not lighted, the viewer sees black infinity, eternity from where the history is born and where it disappears again. But if viewer turns the coin, he will see himself in the mirror, as a part of history non-existent without personalities passing the honest chronicler in an endless line.
The classic image of the famous sculpture is carried out with classic technologies – relief and “proof”, an image of the classic sculpture – and nothing else.
The unique coin with the face value of 50 roubles is made of pure gold. The content of the metal in purity is 7.78 g. The diameter is 22.6 mm. The milled edge is of 134 riffles. The coin is struck in “proof” quality in the number of 1000 pieces.
The results of “Coin Constellation-2017” were announced at a ceremony that took place during the Eighth International Coins Conference and Exhibition “COINS-2017” on September 23.