One of the highlights of Numiscollects many ranges for us is the superb Sacred Art series of art-architecture coins. This type of coin has been incredibly popular over the last five or six years, and one of the first wave to follow after the ground-breaking Tiffany Art series was this one. Launching in 2011, there were three coins released that year, but it soon settled down to a more manageable one coin per year, and it’s been powering on ever since.
Struck in 50g of sterling 0.925 silver, these coins differ from the mainstream look of this genre of coins in a couple of important ways. Firstly, they’re diamond-shaped instead of round, something only a small series from the Mint of Poland has replicated. Secondly, and most importantly, the window isn’t simply an adornment like a piece of glass, agate or other mineral, it’s an integral part of the design and in fact the whole point of the coin. Numiscollect also call this series Holy Windows, which should give you some idea of the true focus of them. The window in these coins is simply huge, far larger than would be comfortable with a simple colored mineral insert. The reason it’s so successful is the sheer level of detail in the insert itself. Designed to replicate one of the famous stained-glass windows from the religious building featured on the particular issue, they are in fact miniature works of art in their own right.
This ninth coin certainly maintains the increasingly high standards of the series and may well be the best to date. Obviously with a subject like the epic Canterbury Cathedral, the source material couldn’t be better. Founded in 597, rebuilt in 1070 just after the Norman invasion, and modified ever since, Canterbury Cathedral is a World Heritage Site and the home of the symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. It’s also the location of one of historys most famous murders, that of the archbishop Thomas Beckett in 1170 by knights of King Henry II. The stained glass window chosen for the insert has incredible detail for the size and looks quite brilliant set in the middle of the antique-finished diamond-shaped coin face. As a window it’s easy to see from both faces. As with previous releases, the obverse depicts an interior view, and the reverse an exterior one.
Not shipping until November/December, these coins usually sell for around the €150-200 mark and early ones have shown encouraging signs of appreciation, although remain affordable at present. Great effort.