Mint XXI moves from Noah’s Ark to the Tower of Babel in its numismatic journey through bible classics

After a superb debut last year with a Noah’s Ark coin, Mint XXI’s ‘Fundamental Stories of the Bible’ series returns with a second coin, and it’s another core tale from the Old Testament. The Tower of Babel is meant to be a warning to man’s hubris, but like many biblical stories, seems a bit petty and vindictive in retrospect. It is a clever tale, trying to explain the myriad languages that man is encumbered with, and bringing into it some of the amazing architecture that the early civilisations managed to bring to fruition.

The Tower of Babel is said to have been a ziggurat-type structure, a tower of diminishing circumference, surrounded by a rising ramp, and that’s what Mint XXI have sensibly chosen to go with. It’s beautifully detailed, and at its base is a throng of people, celebrating their achievements, no doubt, unaware of what was soon to befall them. Again, it’s packed with some great touches. The pastel metallic palette used continues that set out so successfully with Noah’s Ark.

The obverse is another custom design, showing us the tower in the late stage of construction, with a low set moon in the background, perhaps representing how close the tower was to the heavens. The artwork reaches out to the rim in all directions, with no border interference. Both faces are fully antique-finished, which appears to work well with the subdued colour scheme.

The excellent presentation from the first coin is back again. An oval wooden box with a window opening above the coin is attractive enough, and it’s all packaged in a themed outer, with a Certificate of Authenticity inside. A very nice coin indeed, with much attention to detail, and a beautiful finish. It’s a five-ounce silver coin, so is rocking a €600 price tag, unfortunately, but for the collector of higher-end numismatics, it’s an appealing offering. Available to order now, it should ship in late November.



The Tower of Babel is an aetiological myth in the Book of Genesis of the Tanakh (Old Testament) meant to explain the origin of different languages. According to the story, a united humanity of the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating from the east, came to the land of Shinar. There they agreed to build a city and a tower “tall enough to reach heaven”; seeing this, God confounded their speech so that they could no longer understand each other and scattered them around the world.

The Tower of Babel has been associated with known structures according to some modern scholars, notably the Etemenanki, a ziggurat dedicated to the Mesopotamian god Marduk by Nabopolassar, king of Babylonia (c. 610 BCE). The Great Ziggurat of Babylon was 91 metres (300 ft) in height. Alexander the Great ordered it demolished circa 331 BCE in preparation for a reconstruction that his death forestalled. (Wikipedia)


Interpreted by Mint XXI, the myth of the Tower of Babel is sad and significant at the same time. Sad because it reveals the proud and rebellious nature of mankind. Significant because it captures a key point of our history that shaped the diversity of cultures in the world. Following many generations after the Great Flood, people had forgotten the valuable lesson of obeying God’s will. Filled with vanity and pride, they built a massive tower reaching the sky. But God frustrated their futile plan, confusing the languages and scattering them all over the Earth.

The Tower of Babel coin is a perpetuation of the myth. The exquisite detailing captured in high relief specifies numerous arches of the massive construction. Appearing as an ascending spiral, it is reminiscent of the Roman Colosseum, another significant structure in the history of religion. At the same time, the multicolour shimmering brings to life the foreground of the image. The hectic scene depicts people rejoicing, drinking wine, and trading, completely unaware of God’s plan for them. It reminds us of the futility of human endeavours before the supreme will of the Almighty.

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