Next in line for Numiscollect week is the launch of a whole new series instead of the continuation of an existing one. The Dutch coin producer aren’t afraid to experiment with new ideas and have been responsible for some excellent ones in the past. Of special note are the Glasswing Butterfly coin with it’s innovative use of the window in different ways on either face, and the cleverly struck, pearl-adorned Sea Treasures coins. They’ve also produced coins with inset lava and even hand-crafted porcelain from Royal Delft.

This time we’ve got a series in which an inset capsule contains sand from one of the worlds great deserts, in the case of this launch issue, the Judaean. Stretching east from Jerusalem and down to the famous salt lake called the Dead Sea, whose shore has the dubious distinction of being the lowest elevation on the Earths landmass, being a staggering 304 m below sea level. Rich in history, the desert also has its fair share of wildlife from large carnivores to herbivores like the Ibex depicted on this new release.

The coin is struck in 1 oz of fine silver and then has some limited colouring to the landscape behind the Ibex. Above the desert landscape sits a silhouette of the Jerusalem skyline with temples aplenty. The Ibex itself is very well designed and anatomically accurate. To the right is embedded the coins main feature, a shallow capsule containing sand taken from the desert itself. The insert is shallow enough that it deosn’t pass all the way through into the obverse; not a major point but it does allow the capsule to be neater than a deeper one. Inscriptions for the date of issue, series title and coin subject also adorn the reverse face. The obverse features the usual Cook Islands favourite, the Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

Shipping from the end of September or a touch later, the coin is encapsulated as usual, and comes in a box with a certificate. An unusual coin, we’d imagine they’ll be some quite unusual sand chosen for later issues to help differentiate the coins. No signs of a price yet, but Numiscollect are usually pretty reasonable on that front.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

The start of a new unique series dedicated to the great deserts our world is rich. The Judaean Desert located in the Holyland with real Holyland sand inserted is the first issue. 1oz pure silver!

The Judaean Desert is a desert in Israel and the West Bank that lies east of Jerusalem and descends to the Dead Sea. It stretches from the northeastern Negev to the east of Beit El, and is marked by terraces with escarpments. It ends in a steep escarpment dropping to the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley. The Judaean Desert is crossed by numerous wadis from northeast to southeast and has many ravines. Located in the Holyland.

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 COOK ISLANDS 0.999 SILVER 31.1 g 38.61 mm PROOF 999 YES / YES
NUMISCOLLECT