I initially came across the Silver Shield brand by accident while looking for other silver rounds on eBay, and coming across ads that kept asking if “you might also be interested” in something else. Usually I gloss over the ads but every once in a while I would do a double take. Nothing else came close to catching my attention the way the Silver Shield rounds would for their well made designs and clever themes that brought me in for a closer look. It’s one thing to simply enjoy silver artwork, but to recognize that there’s a deeper meaning behind the designs allows a greater appreciation for it. Eventually, I started searching for the Silver Shield product, and the search results were nothing short of stunning. One fantastic piece followed the next, some witty and funny, others blunt and scornful. Most of which were must own pieces.
How’s this for believing in your own product? The owner and creator, Chris Duane, eats his own cooking by keeping no less than the first 100 rounds in every single mintage he puts out (and 20 each of his 5 ounce mintages), and his prolific work is relentless. Relentless in the amount of material he releases in rapid fire succession, relentless in the backlog of material he is still itching to put out, and particularly relentless in his unapologetic message, where he holds absolutely nothing back. Who knows if most people will be able to understand his point of view of the world as it is today, only time will tell. But looking at his creative skills, it’s clear Mr Duane is working his hardest to spread his form of exposure and awareness.
As of now, in my view no other precious metals designer has been able to match the combination of intense wit or the art quality that displays Mr Duane’s often satirical messages. Anyone else who has tried to mint something clever has either come across as trying too hard or not trying hard enough. Their message is typically questionable at best with no clear point or understandable meaning, and the artwork is almost always crude and laughable. It often wreaks with the desperate smell of a money grab. Meanwhile, the Silver Shield message stays on point and flows with ease.
Just have a look for yourself, at some of my favorite designs:
Here’s a side by side comparison:
This next round is titled The Crucible, which is a type of vessel holding substances that can be heated to high temperatures. But there’s a second definition for “crucible”, which also means a severe trial or test. Something that most of us can identify with on a regular basis.
The highly sought after Pyramid of Power set:
The art just jumps out better on these larger diameter 2 Oz proofs.
The picture below is a powerful example of one of Mr Duane’s simple and straight to the point messages:
One of my all time favorites is this next design, part of the Slave Queen series titled Democide. Every detail has a purpose.
With one of the stranger elections in recent memory, it’s no surprise that 2016 was dominated by election headlines. Chris Duane was right there to document his version of the news.
No presidential candidate was safe from their own dirty laundry. Here’s a few of the highlights.
Football fans may notice the New England Patriots logo in the over-the-top hairdo on the next one.
How many times did we hear about “having to vote for the lesser evil” before the election?
If you haven’t seen the fictional President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho from the satire comedy film Idiocracy, it is absolutely a must watch movie. The following design mimics a scene straight out of the epic flick, except with Trump wearing Camacho’s presidential attire.
And one more hilarious masterpiece: