Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse series wraps up with Death, the rider of the Pale Horse

In our view, easily one of the best series of mythologically-themed coins oi the last few years, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is now wrapping up with the fourth and last release. Featuring Death itself, riding the famous Pale Horse, this last issue fits perfectly into a tightly coherent set which has included the White (Pestilence), Red (War), and Black (Famine) Horsemen.

Again, the depiction is top notch. The armoured horse, gilded scythe and piled up corpses leave little room for confusion. This is death. The strike will be by the mint of Poland, of course, so expect a first class job, with defined high-relief, tons of detail and a quality antique finish. The obverse that’s been common to the series is unchanged and as atrractive as ever, proof positive that an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, ironically a super-keen horsewoman, doesn’t have to be boring.

The coin should be avaialble for pre-order on the 17th of February, with shipping in April (Covid permitting). This beautiful two-ounce fine silver coin will come boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity, and just 500 will be struck. Distributed by Canadian dealer Coin Shoppe, this has been a quite outstanding series, with a defined scope, not open-ended like so many of these, something we’d encourage other producers to do more often.

What comes next from Coin Shoppe? Whatever it is, on this evidence it will be worth waiting for.

When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.

Revelation 6:7-8

THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in the last book of the New Testament of the Bible, called the Book of Revelation of Jesus Christ to John of Patmos, at 6:1-8. The chapter tells of a book or scroll in God’s right hand that is sealed with seven seals. The Lamb of God opens the first four of the seven seals, which summons four beings that ride out on white, red, black, and pale horses.

Though theologians and popular culture differ on the first Horseman, the four riders are often seen as symbolizing Conquest or Pestilence (and less frequently, the Christ or the Antichrist), War, Famine, and Death. The Christian apocalyptic vision is that the Four Horsemen are to set a divine apocalypse upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgment.

One reading ties the Four Horsemen to the history of the Roman Empire subsequent to the era in which the Book of Revelation was written. That is, they are a symbolic prophecy of the subsequent history of the Empire.

The fourth and final Horseman is named Death. Known as “Thanatos”, of all the riders, he is the only one to whom the text itself explicitly gives a name. Unlike the other three, he is not described carrying a weapon or other object, instead he is followed by Hades (the resting place of the dead). However, illustrations commonly depict him carrying a scythe (like the Grim Reaper), sword, or other implement.

The color of Death’s horse is written as khlōros in the original Koine Greek, which can mean either green/greenish-yellow or pale/pallid. The color is often translated as “pale”, though “ashen”, “pale green”, and “yellowish green” are other possible interpretations (the Greek word is the root of “chlorophyll” and “chlorine”). Based on uses of the word in ancient Greek medical literature, several scholars suggest that the color reflects the sickly pallor of a corpse. In some modern artistic depictions, the horse is distinctly green.

The Greek word for plague is θανάτῳ, which is a variation of Θάνατος, indicating a connection between the Fourth Horseman and plague.

The verse beginning “they were given power over a fourth of the earth” is generally taken as referring to Death and Hades, although some commentators see it as applying to all four horsemen. (Source: Wikipedia)

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $5 NZD (Niue)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
DIMENSIONS 45.0 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Gilded highlights, ultra high relief
MINTAGE 500
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
MINT OF POLAND

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE“, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0