Gazeles 2022

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Silver coin „Paracelsus“


  • Metal: silver 999
  • Weight: 62,20 g
  • Diametre: 50 mm
  • Quality: antique finish
  • Face value: 5 dollars
  • Country: Niue
  • Year of issue: 2023
  • Mintage: 500 pcs
  • Technologies: Digital printing, High relief
  • Insert: Swarovski crystal
  • Edge: stylized snake
  • Certificate : yes
  • Package: capsule, presentation box
  • Minted at: Lithuanian Mint




Von Hohenheim was no ordinary physician – he was an experimental alchemist, medical revolutionist, lay theologian, astrologer, Renaissance philosopher, and diviner who carried the substantial influence of a prophet. His motto, ‘alterius non sit qui suus esse potest’ (‘let no man belong to another who can belong to himself’) further attests the alchemist’s many talents and wisdom. Nicknamed Doctor Paracelsus, this man established the role of chemistry in medicine and is often credited as the father of toxicology. What’s more, he was the first to declare that, if given in small doses, ‘what makes a man ill also cures him’ – it marked the origins of contemporary homoeopathy. 


 Although we know much of his biographical data, the darker side of Von Hohenheim’s personality remains shrouded in mystery. Historians speculate that Paracelsus’ interest in the occult began at an early age, when he learned about metals that ‘grow’ in the earth. Precise information about this period of his life is lost in legends and superstitions, however, as a famous chemist, he definitely had access to see the transformations of metallic constituents in smelting vats. Given it was the 16th century, he probably hypothesized about transmutation of lead into gold, too – a conversion believed to be possible by the alchemists of the time.


 Despite the ‘simple’ ideas of his peers, Doctor Paracelsus was also fascinated with something much darker & sacrilegious – he was the first to write about the complex creation process of an artificial human being. Ironically, this detailed description of how to make a homunculus (Latin for ‘little man, miniature human’) became Paracelsus’ magnum opus. Our limited-edition collectible coin ‘Paracelsus’ commemorates this story.  


 The reverse of this extraordinary piece depicts the birth of the homunculus in a laboratory flask into which Doctor Paracelsus adds a secret ingredient, symbolically marked by an emerald-green Swarovski crystal. The creator and his creation are surrounded by various occult details, such as a lion consuming the Sun, a fire-breathing horned serpent, and several other mythical creatures. The Sun and the Moon on both sides of Doctor Paracelsus symbolize the cycle of day and night, during which the homunculus is born.  


 The ‘Paracelsus’ coin was minted in high relief, using aged silver with an antique surface finish. There are several partially gilded elements, such as the alchemist’s flask, on both sides of the coin. The pride of our masters – the original edge – is a stylized snake Uroboros, symbolizing the eternal cycle of life and death. The obverse shows a public seal of Niue in the centre. Below, two katoua cleaving clubs – the symbol of Niue – are crossed, and the island’s motto, ‘atua Niue tukulagi’, is written above them. 

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