On Jan. 31, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) announced its new certification label that pays tribute to the Mona Lisa. This label is for Mona Lisa coins, minted recently in France and produced in other decades by countries around the world. For any coin, the NGC Mona Lisa Special Label celebrates the link between numismatics and art, according to NGC.
The Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci at the height of the Renaissance, has reached a level of universal fame known by few, if any, other works of art. Each year, she draws more than 8 million people to the Louvre in Paris, simply for a glimpse of her enigmatic smile or to study da Vinci’s groundbreaking technique. Her allure — as a cultural touchstone and unsolvable puzzle — is enduring and undeniable.
Numismatics was born in the Renaissance as well, when 16th-century scholars began collecting and studying the material artifacts of classical civilizations, including their currency. While the faces on coins were the primary source of fascination for early numismatists, the images on the reverse of animals, symbols and deities also provided insight into past eras and different ways of life.
Also, the Monnaie de Paris (Paris Mint) introduced silver and gold Mona Lisa coins in December 2019 that commemorate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death in 1519.
The coins include a 20 € silver coin, a 50 € quarter-ounce gold coin, a 200 € 1-ounce gold coin and a 500 € 5-ounce gold coin, all struck in impressive high relief to highlight the detailed engraving of Mona Lisa’s portrait. Part of the painting’s frame appears in the background with the name of the work and the artist. CHEFS D’ŒUVRE DES MUSÉE (Museum Masterpieces) refers to the Paris Mint series that these coins are part of, which pays tribute to the masterpieces of French museums.
The Mona Lisa has appeared on many coins from different countries over the years. For example, there is a Congo 2006 10 Francs Mona Lisa coin, a series of Yemen AH1395/1975 gold and silver Mona Lisa coins, and a series of Sharjah AH1389/1970 gold and silver Mona Lisa coins, as well as several other European Mona Lisa coins. Meanwhile, French, Italian and Czech coins have featured da Vinci, himself, and his myriad inventions.
The NGC Mona Lisa Special Label is available to all NGC Collectors Society members and Authorized Dealers for submissions of common date, modern coins for an additional $5 (USD) fee. The Special Label fee is waived for bulk submissions.
The NGC Mona Lisa Special Label is not available for the NGC Oversize Holder.