The next of the Scottsdale Mints ‘Biblical Stories’ series coins has debuted via exclusive distributor, APMEX and represents the second of six in the 2015 set of coins. It’s identical in concept and specification to the first coin, Exodus, and maintains the use of artwork from celebrated 19th century wood engraving specialist, Gustave Doré.
Doré was a prolific artist and his bible series first published in 1865 numbered several hundred illustrations in total. With a rich source like that to draw upon, Scottsdale will have no problem finding some striking imagery for the planned ten sets of six coins to be released over the next decade. The important change in emphasis here is towards sets of six coins instead of a single set of 60. This is a much more sensible approach in our view, and will make the series considerably more approachable to collectors knowing they can compile a yearly set with relative ease. The thought of having to stick with anything collectable for a decade was daunting to most and could have diminished the overall appeal of these coins.
These coins do have considerable appeal. Even coming from someone like myself with no religious leanings at all, the coins are beautifully detailed, eminently artistic, and draw from a rich vein of source material. Whatever your beliefs, there are some fascinating stories and powerful imagery associated with Doré’s Biblical work, and the choice of ultra-high relief, rimless, antique-finish coins is an inspired one. This second coin has a much more obvious focal point within the design, a criticism that was levelled at the first ‘Exodus’ piece because of it’s complexity and sense of scale, and thus is a more intimate piece overall. The designer has done a great job interpreting the original work. Even the obverse uses the, in our view, superior Maklouf image of Elizabeth II over the later Broadley version.
Sold exclusively through APMEX in the US, the coin again retails for $179.99. The first coin is still available in limited quantities, although it’s risen to $199.99, a trend we hope doesn’t continue. A nice six-coin collectors box would be a good step forward as well. Available to order now.
THE CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS
The crucifixion of Jesus occurred during the 1st century AD, most probably between the years 30 and 33. According to the accounts in the New Testament, Jesus, whom Christians believe to be the Son of God as well as the Messiah, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally crucified. Collectively referred to as the Passion, Jesus’ suffering and redemptive death by crucifixion are the central aspects of Christian theology concerning the doctrines of salvation and atonement.
Jesus’ crucifixion is described in the four canonical gospels, referred to in the New Testament Epistles, attested to by other ancient sources, and is established as a historical event confirmed by non-Christian sources, though there is no consensus on the precise details of what exactly occurred.
Early in the second century another reference to the crucifixion of Jesus was made by Tacitus, generally considered one of the greatest Roman historians. Writing in The Annals (c. 116 AD), Tacitus described the persecution of Christians by Nero and stated (Annals 15.44) that Pilate ordered the execution of Jesus:
Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus.
Scholars generally consider the Tacitus reference to the execution of Jesus by Pilate to be genuine, and of historical value as an independent Roman source. Eddy and Boyd state that it is now “firmly established” that Tacitus provides a non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus.
The story of the crucifixion can be found in the book of Matthew in the Bible, depicting in great detail the act of Jesus dying on a cross. The crucifixion is in the beginning of the story of Easter, which follows Jesus from his death to his burial and resurrection. The remarkable event of the crucifixion is depicted on a 2 troy ounce Silver legal tender coin from the Scottsdale Mint, with a limited mintage of 1,499 coins.
The Bible tells of darkness falling across the land three hours before Jesus took his final breath during his crucifixion. The coin’s antiqued brushed and hand-distressed finish uniquely displays what can only be imagined as a dark, somber and reflective time. The creative team at the U.S. based Scottsdale Mint, led by sculptor D’Almeida Novissimo, designed this .999 fine Silver piece as a true testament to the events depicted in master French craftsman Gustave Doré’s original 1860s wood carving of the crucifixion. The final result is a unique work of art honoring the timeless story.
“The first coin in this Biblical series set the standards high, but this latest Silver coin raises the bar once again,” APMEX Vice President of Merchandising Andrew Martineau said. “APMEX strives to give our customers unique options they can’t get anywhere else and that can become part of a legacy or tradition. This series and these coins are a representation of that commitment.”
The Silver Crucifixion coin has a limited mintage of 1,499 coins, a unique 2 oz size and rimless high-relief artwork, showing its place as a collector’s item that stands the test of time. It is part of a six coin series being released in 2015, the inaugural year of the set. Each coin comes with a certificate of authenticity telling the story of the coin and minting specifications, along with a unique serial number that matches the laser-etched number on each coin.