In pagan philosophy, the earth embodies the material realm as well as the order and stability of nature. This element symbolises fertility & the fundamental force that nourishes all living things. Earth also implies a tangible existence: unlike metaphorical concepts or abstract phenomena, it is inseparable from physicality and is therefore considered the foundation upon which all other elements are built.
An aura of tranquillity envelops the beauty who embodies the element of earth in Ms Urbanavičiūtė’s series of paintings, ‘Women’, which inspired this coin series. ‘Earth’ here is a creator in whose hands all creatures of the world are born. The shells in her palms and hair are an allegory not only of the eternal cycle of life, but also of primordial forms. Above the girl’s head, one can also see several stylised Sun crosses – symbols of another element inherent in the origin of life.
‘In these portraits, I convey the inner emotions of the character, the invisible colours in the landscapes, and I wrap the characters in the colours, textures, shapes of the play of light and shadow, and the elements of nature that I have seen, giving them a sense of mysticism and symbolism,’ says the author of the design Ms E. Urbanavičiūtė.
The surface of the ‘Earth’ collectible silver coin is aged and the reverse features a stunning UV print. On the obverse, there is a pentagram with the five primary elements found in pagan philosophies: it’s air 🜁, earth 🜃, fire 🜂, water 🜄 and the all-embracing Sun ⊕. The centre displays the public seal of Niue. Two katoua cleaving clubs – the symbol of Niue – are crossed below, and the island’s motto, ‘atua Niue tukulagi’, is written above them.