Mint XXI stuns with a numismatic rendering of the biblical legend of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood

Now this one was a surprise and a very pleasant one at that. Even a heathen like me can appreciate the rich legends that make up religious texts, and one of the biggies is the story of the Great Flood. Mostly associated with the Bible, the story of the Ark and the flood dates back to at least Mesopotamian times and may be based on even older oral tellings.

However, it’s the biblical version, complete with Noah, that has inspired Mint XXI’s new five-ounce silver coin. The central premise of the story is the saving of countless pairs of animals so that they can repopulate the world when the flood recedes. The coin shows us a plethora of species crammed onto the deck of the Ark, while a dove with an olive branch in its beak flies toward them from a mountain in the background.

What a terrific piece of numismatic art! The selection, placing and depiction of the animals is absolutely first class, and the subtle colouration works perfectly. It’s really hard to find anything to criticise, which is praise enough, we think. The obverse has a cleanly struck image of the Ark, literally a wall of timber, upon which is the effigy of QEII and the issue inscriptions.

The presentation is equally outstanding, with a wooden box styled to look like leather panels on the lid, along with a porthole so you can see the coin as if the animals were inside the ship. This one seems to be a real labour of love by the team at Mint XXI and they’ve done a first class job. Available to order now, just 299 pieces will be produced.


Noah’s Ark is the vessel in the Genesis flood narrative (Genesis chapters 6–9) through which God spares Noah, his family, and examples of all the world’s animals from a world-engulfing flood. Searches for Noah’s Ark have been made from at least the time of Eusebius (c. 275–339 CE), and believers in the Ark continue to search for it in modern times. Many searches have been mounted, but no confirmable physical proof of its existence has ever been found.

There is also no evidence of a global flood, and most scientists agree that it would be impossible, although a real (though localised) flood event in the Middle East could have inspired the oral and later written narratives; a Black Sea Deluge 7500 years ago has been proposed as such a historical candidate.

The structure of the Ark is homologous with the Jewish Temple. Accordingly, Noah’s instructions are given to him by God (Genesis 6:14–16): the ark is to be 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. Commonly believed is the notion that a ‘cubit’ is equal to 21-25 inches (based on scripture comments on the length of a man’s arm from elbow to fingertip and a handsbreadth). This would result in ark dimensions of approximately 525-624 ft x 87.5-104 ft x 52.5-62.4 ft, or roughly the size of the aircraft carrier USS Independence.

The description of the ark and its construction are based on descriptions from Judaism, but the reality is, like much in the bible, that the story was taken from much earlier times and tweaked. The ark and flood tale has been traced back via multiple versions, to the Mesopotamians. (Wikipedia)


The famous biblical story of Noah and the flood was selected as a motif for this collectible piece. According to the Christian Old Testament, God was angry at people’s sins and decided to punish them with a huge deluge, which destroyed all the people on Earth. The sky opened like windows and rain poured down. The rain fell on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights.

However, there was one innocent man, whom God endowed with his mercy. Noah managed to save himself, his family and some animals. In accordance with God’s instructions, he took into the ark male and female specimens of all the world’s species of animals, from which the stocks might be replenished.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 155.5 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, Colour shimmering
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes