Available exclusively through huge American coin dealer APMEX, the next of Scottsdale Mints ‘Biblical Stories’ series of coins has debuted and is the third of six to launch in 2015. Carrying on with the antique finish, rimless, high-relief concept and specification of the first coin, Exodus, and the second, The Crucifixion of Jesus, both are closely based on the artwork from celebrated 19th century wood engraving specialist, Gustave Doré.
Paul Gustave Louis Christophe Doré was a French artist, illustrator, printmaker and sculptor who worked primarily with wood engraving. Doré was a prolific artist and his bible series first published in 1865 numbered several hundred illustrations in total. With so much source material, Scottsdale will have no problem finding some striking imagery for the planned ten sets of six coins to be released over the next decade. The important change in emphasis here is towards sets of six coins instead of a single set of 60. This is a much more sensible approach as the thought of having to stick with anything collectable for a decade is daunting and could have diminished the overall appeal of these coins.
The third coin takes the story of David and Goliath and like the previous pair, the design is beautifully detailed, very artistic, and close to the source material. Whatever your beliefs, there are some fascinating stories and powerful imagery associated with Doré’s Biblical work, and the choice of ultra-high relief, rimless, antique-finish coins is perfect. This third coin continues the trend of removing some of the complexity which some thought overpowered the Exodus coin. A fine interpretation of the original work, it leaves no doubt what story the design represents. Even the obverse uses the, in our view, superior Maklouf image of Elizabeth II over the later Broadley version and the laser-etched serial number on the rim that matches the certificate is a nice touch.
Sold exclusively through APMEX in the US, the coin again retails for $179.99. The first coin is still available in limited quantities although after several price rises it’s now at a hefty $219.99, far too much we think, while the second coin is also up to $199.99 despite over 10% of the mintage still being available. We think APMEX are being a bit short-sighted here, as even though the designs are first class, these aren’t generating the buzz of the Perth Mints superb Gods of Olympus series. A nice six-coin collectors box would be a good step forward as well. Available to order now.