The great numismatic experimenters, CIT, issued a hugely popular and very unusual coin at the 2018 World Money Fair in Berlin, called ‘Trapped’. It’s hard to describe the style, but I guess a face pushing up from below a fine mesh would be pretty accurate. However you want to describe it, it was a fantastically original piece of coin art, followed up in 2019 by ‘Still Trapped’.

Now, the first producer outside of CIT is using this smartminted mesh artistic style for their own work, and instead of the realm of horror fantasy, AllCollect have taken the realistic approach with a three dimensional interpretation of the famous Shroud of Turin. This medieval forgery is said to be the burial shroud of Jesus and has been the focus of much argument and debate for over 600 years. Obviously, it’s a great subject for a coin!

The first time we’ve seen this style on a rectangular format, it works perfectly, something that a round coin would have struggled to match. It isn’t a complicated design and AllCollect are to be commended for keeping it so, the focus remaining on the central figure. The inscriptions are small, neat and kept on the border. The obverse of this Cook Islands issue features the Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

Available to order now, this one-ounce silver coin has an antique finish and a mintage of just 700 pieces. The packaging is neat and designed to make the display of the coin exceptionally easy. It should sell for around the €150 mark.

SHROUD OF TURIN

The Shroud of Turin, is a length of linen cloth bearing the negative image of a man, claimed by some to be the depiction of Jesus of Nazareth and the fabric is the burial shroud in which he was wrapped after crucifixion. The existence of the shroud was first securely attested in 1389 or 1390 when a local bishop wrote that an unnamed artist had confessed that it was a forgery. Radiocarbon dating of a sample of the fabric is consistent with this date of origin.

The artifact is kept in the Cathedral of Turin, which is located next to a complex of buildings composed of the Royal Palace of Turin, the Chapel of the Holy Shroud (located inside the Royal Palace and formerly connected to the Cathedral), and the Palazzo Chiablese in Turin, Piedmont, northern Italy.

The Catholic Church has neither formally endorsed nor rejected the shroud, but in 1958 Pope Pius XII approved of the image in association with the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus. Pope John Paul II called the Shroud “a mirror of the Gospel”.  Diverse arguments have been made in scientific and popular publications claiming to prove, contrary to the scientific consensus, that the cloth is the authentic burial shroud of Jesus, based on disciplines ranging from chemistry to biology and medical forensics to optical image analysis. In 1988, three radiocarbon dating tests dated a corner piece of the shroud from the Middle Ages, between the years 1260 and 1390. Some shroud researchers have challenged the dating, arguing the results were skewed by the introduction of material from the Middle Ages to the portion of the shroud used for radiocarbon dating. However, all of the hypotheses put forward to challenge the radiocarbon dating have been scientifically refuted, including the medieval repair hypothesis, the bio-contamination hypothesis and the carbon monoxide hypothesis.

The image on the shroud is much clearer in black-and-white negative—first observed in 1898—than in its natural sepia color. A variety of methods have been proposed for the formation of the image, but the actual method used has not yet been conclusively identified. The shroud continues to be both intensely studied and controversial.

The shroud is rectangular, measuring approximately 4.4 by 1.1 metres. The cloth is woven in a three-to-one herringbone twill composed of flax fibrils. Its most distinctive characteristic is the faint, brownish image of a front and back view of a naked man with his hands folded across his groin. The two views are aligned along the midplane of the body and point in opposite directions. The front and back views of the head nearly meet at the middle of the cloth.

The image of the “Man of the Shroud” has a beard, moustache, and shoulder-length hair parted in the middle. He is muscular and tall (various experts have measured him as from 1.70 to 1.88 m or 5 ft 7 in to 6 ft 2 in). Reddish-brown stains are found on the cloth, correlating, according to proponents, with the Biblical description of the crucifixion of Jesus.

In May 1898 Italian photographer Secondo Pia was allowed to photograph the shroud. He took the first photograph of the shroud on 28 May 1898. In 1931, another photographer, Giuseppe Enrie, photographed the shroud and obtained results similar to Pia’s. In 1978, ultraviolet photographs were taken of the shroud. The shroud was damaged in a fire in 1532 in the chapel in Chambery, France. There are some burn holes and scorched areas down both sides of the linen, caused by contact with molten silver during the fire that burned through it in places while it was folded. Fourteen large triangular patches and eight smaller ones were sewn onto the cloth by Poor Clare nuns to repair the damage. (Source: Wikipedia)

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $5 CID (Cook Islands)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 27.0 x 47.0 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief, Smartminting
MINTAGE 700
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
ALLCOLLECT