Mercanti Resurrects One of the World’s Oldest Numismatic Icons
When the Ancient Greeks and Romans wanted a symbol for their coins, they chose Winged Victory, also called Nike or Victoria. One of the earliest images used on coins, Victory has been jangling in pockets and coin purses since around 510 B.C. But her legacy doesn’t end there.
Victory appears on coins from Olympia symbolizing victory at the Olympic Games. In some Greek coins, she appears in the palm of the great goddess Athena. Winged Victory also stands as the largest bronze casting on a memorial in Australia—the 1919 Marrickville War Memorial. On it, Victory is shown gazing down as she holds her wreath of victory in one hand, a sword of battle raised in the other.
In 2021, Winged Victory has returned once again—this time envisioned by one of the world’s greatest living coin designers: John Mercanti, 12th Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint.