The stunning 1 Oz Silver round with the popularity in all things Viking, it’s no surprise people are going berserk for Aleksey Saburov’s latest hobo nickel. The Berserkers were known to wear nothing but animal pelts into battle. It is thought the origins of the name came from an old Norse word meaning ‘bear-shirt’, although this remains debated. They were eventually outlawed in Norway in 1015. And by the 12th Century, most gangs had disappeared.
Meet the crazy shield biting, fire eating, Viking Berserkers. The Vikings were a bloodthirsty Nordic tribe who traversed the seas as pirates, raiding, trading and exploring. Their ancient heritage and legendary tales are commemorated in Saburov's hobo nickel, earning a place in our 2017 coin collection. Every detail of this bas-relief carving is exquisite and well thought out, from the rich texturing of the fur clothing worn by our Viking hero to the complex curves of Celtic style knot-work adorning his weapon. The obverse displays our bearded Norse heathen with his battle axe in hand. But notice if you will the most striking feature - his eyes. When in his trance-like battle state, he was a crazy animal, driven by madness. To many, he was unstable, even considered to be schizophrenic. To some scholars, he was in the throes of a PTSD-like hyperarousal. Many believe it was the product of a drug and booze-fuelled rampage, while others say it is ritualistic magic and cult.
The reverse captures a dramatic scene on the ocean waves, with a sea-serpent attacking a Viking longboat. Known in Norse mythology as the Jormungand or the Midgard Serpent, this huge beast represents chaos and a power even greater than that of the gods. The reverse shows our raging warriors fighting a fierce dragon-like sea monster. The Berserkers were often known to display superhuman strength. They took on the characteristics of wild bears and wolves, ripping apart their foes no matter how menacing. To the Berserkers, no enemy was too great – even a giant sea dragon. This striking artwork is extraordinarily detailed to create a sense of movement and energy which brings the piece to life. Saburov's fierce Viking crew prepare to fight for their lives, with spears and shields at the ready, while the fanged, scaled monster looms over them. The longboat has sleek, simple lines, bringing an extra dimension of charm to the design.
Aleksey Saburov's Viking Berserker at a Glance:
- 1 Troy Ounce (5,000 authorize