The latest of the APMEX exclusive coins designed and struck by the Scottsdale Mints has now launched and is the fourth of six in the 2015 set. Called ‘Biblical Stories’ they’re an antique finish, rimless, high-relief series and this one follows, Exodus, The Crucifixion of Jesus, and David and Goliath. All 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. The fourth coin is based on a work called “Moses Breaking the Tables of the Law,” and is another fine example of Doré’s Biblical work. This fourth coin mirrors the third in removing some of the complexity which some thought overpowered the Exodus coin. A very good interpretation of the original work, although perhaps a little close to the David and Goliath one in overall design, much like comparing the 2014 and 2015 Somali Elephant bullion coins. The obverse continues to use what we think is the 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. Overall, another really nice coin in my view, we can see it having great appeal to many, especially lovers of Dore’s work.
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, and the second coin has risen to $199.99 despite over 10% of the mintage still being available. The third remains at $179.99 for the moment, but we wouldn’t rule out rises and that’s a shame. We think APMEX are being a bit short-sighted here, as even though the designs are first class, these still aren’t generating a buzz like the Gods of Olympus series. Last time around we suggested a nice six-coin collectors box would be a good step forward and it looks like we’ve gotten our wish. Made of leather and styled like a book, it looks a beautiful piece and sells for $74.99. A fitting way to hold the collection.