.One of the great city-states of ancient Greece, Sparta had a reputation for expertise in hoplite warfare — waged with long spears and round wood-and-bronze shields — that dated back to the Messenian War in the 9th century BC. During the centuries afterwards, its reputation grew, burnished by an undeniable talent for propaganda that was able to turn even defeats like the Battle of Thermopylae during the Greco-Persian War into moral victories. For a brief time in the next century, Sparta stood at the apex of power in the Greek world, but although the city-state soon faded from prominence, its carefully cultivated myth of invincibility lived on.
- Comes in an original mint capsule with a Certificate of Authenticity!
- Issued in 2023!
- Limited mintage of just 1,500 coins!
- Contains 1 Troy oz of .9999 pure silver.
- Face value of $5 (NZD), legal tender of the Cook Islands.
- Obverse side features the artwork of the mythic Helen of Troy.
- Reverse side shows Spartan hoplites accompanied by a portrait of Helen.
Like most of the classic Greek city-states, Sparta traced its roots deep into a mythological past, in its case ultimately leading to a descendant of the god Zeus named Lacedaemon. Its military feats and its much-admired political constitution — an oligarchy that was arguably more popular with many Greek contemporaries than Athenian democracy — were undergirded by its mythic reputation, which saw the city claiming a role for itself in the return of the princess Helen to the shores of Greece after the Trojan War depicted in the famous poems of Homer. Sparta remained skilled in both the arts of war and myth-making throughout its independent history, and preserved its legacy through skill at the latter art in the centuries that followed.
The 2023 Proof Cook Islands Silver Sparta Coin comes with a Certificate of Authenticity in an original mint capsule. It features the mirrored backgrounds of a proof-quality collectible.
The coin’s obverse side features a replica of the classical artwork “The Return of Helen in a Quadriga,” a triumphant act in the mythology of the Trojan War. Above it appears the late Elizabeth II in effigy, surrounded by the inscriptions “Elizabeth II,” “5 Dollars,” “Cook Islands” and “2023.”
The reverse side features the city-state’s hoplite soldiers ready for battle with a modernized portrait of Helen of Troy alongside them and traditional motifs of Greek fortifications and designs in the backdrop. This is accompanied above by the inscription “Sparta.”
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