New Zealand Mint takes a rare break from the media world with Gabriel, their first Archangel silver coin

Religion is a perennial subject in the numismatic world and has been since coins first disappeared down the back of Babylonian sofas many millennia ago. However, it isn’t a subject we often see from the Antipodean mints, especially the New Zealand Mint, but here we are. They’ve chosen to do it in their own way, however.

Religion has always been inextricably linked with the art world. You could make a great case arguing that religion thrived because it used art so effectively to tell its stories, and awe the less educated members of their respective civilisations. That doesn’t work so well today, but doesn’t stop us looking in awe at the magnificent architecture that was birthed from the relationship between art and faith. The NZ Mint has tapped into a particularly effective and stunning example – stained glass windows.

Hull Minster in Northern England is an inspiring structure, as many medieval churches are, and it has its own fair share on superb art adorning it, not all of it as old as it roots in the 1280’s. Indeed, it was barely a century ago that Mary Hutchinson’s beautiful glass depiction of the Archangel Gabriel was installed in its current location, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. Rich in colour, it’s a fine choice for replication on a coin

The coin is proof finished with colour, and remains free of inscribed intrusion, It’s hard to criticise the implementation. The NZ Mint has even added some tracery around the effigy on the obverse to enhance it a little. The first in a new ‘Archangels’ series, this one-ounce fine silver coin has a mintage of 2,000 pieces and is superbly presented in the acrylic frame we like so much here. A nice debut for a series as much about the art as the theme itself. Available now for around $85.00 USD.


Hull Minster is the largest parish church in England by floor area. The church dates back to about 1300 and contains what is widely acknowledged to be some of the finest mediaeval brick-work in the country, particularly in the transepts. The Minster Church is now a Grade I listed building and was built in the perpendicular gothic style. The Minster Church is a member of the Greater Churches Group.William Wilberforce, who led the parliamentary campaign against the slave trade, was baptised in Holy Trinity Church.

Built around 1285 under the close patronage of Edward I, the fabled ‘Hammer of the Scots’, the church became a model for others of the period, This beautiful building is renowned for its use of light and features two ‘arts and crafts’ windows designed by famed illustrator Walter Crane, back in 1919, and the aforementioned work of Mary Hutchinson in 1920. The building is replete with medieval details, including a coralloid marble font that dates back to circa 1380.

In November 2014 plans were unveiled to reorder the church, creating an outstanding venue for performances, exhibitions and banquets, a visitor destination, and a place where those in need of help can find assistance. The aim is to create a place for the whole community, and a venue that will be a driving force in the regeneration of Hull’s Old Town. The transformation, costing a total of £4.5 million, will take place in phases from 2016 onwards, the first being ready for UK City of Culture in 2017.

On 7 November 2016, Archbishop of York John Sentamu announced that the church would be given Minster status in a ceremony on 13 May 2017. Sentamu came to Hull on 13 May in a flotilla of boats with a lantern lit at All Saints’ Church, Hessle to rededicate the church as Hull Minster. In March 2019, the Minster received a grant of £3.9 million from Highways England to create a visitor centre, café and exhibition spaces. (Adapted from Wikipedia)

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 36.0 x 53.0 mm
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes