The Scottsdale Mint introduced its Biblical Series of 2 oz silver coins in 2015. The collection offers six new designs each year that come from the works of Gustave Dore. In 1866, Dore completed his illustrations for the Bible, a series of 241 wood-engravings that depicted some of the most important stories from the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible. As the series enters its sixth year in production, the 2020-dated designs are still arriving with dealers and represent one of the more prominent examples of Niue silver coins. Provident Metals offers a peek at the designs from the 2020 Biblical Series in this week’s blog post.
The Designs of 2020
With each year of issue in the Biblical Series, the Scottsdale Mint offers up six designs. None of the issue years has a specific focus on certain books or broader themes from within the Bible, but it is worth noting that the 2020 Biblical Series features depictions of three different miracles from the Bible in its six releases. The 2020 designs include the following images:
- Jesus Walking on the Sea: Two of the miracles performed by Jesus take place within a tight window of time in the Bible. Shortly after performing the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus turns one fish and one loaf of bread into countless loaves and fishes for his followers, his disciples depart in a boat across the Sea of Galilee. Mired in a storm and scared, the disciples cry out for help and Jesus walks on top of the water to rescue his devout followers. Peter, fearing Jesus will be harmed, jumps from the boat to swim to him, but ends up needing Jesus’ help to save him.
- Judas Kiss: The life of Jesus comes to an end as the result of a betrayal by one of his disciples. With the Hebrew leaders and Roman overseers of Judea seeking out Jesus, a bag with pieces of silver is enough for Judas to turn on his beloved Jesus. Judas identifies Christ to the Romans by kissing him on the cheek as the Romans close-in.
- Fiery Furnace: Among the earlier miracles of the Bible is a story from the Old Testament wherein three Hebrew men living in Babylon are rewarded by God for their unyielding faith. After refusing to kneel and acknowledge the Babylonian king as a god, the men are cast into a fiery furnace. Rather than dying, they are rewarded with their faith by the protection of an angel who saves them from the heat of the flames.
- Resurrection of Lazarus: One of Jesus Christ’s several miracles from the Bible is the resurrection of a sick man named Lazarus. His children ask Jesus for help, but he cannot arrive before the death of Lazarus. When Jesus arrives, he stands at the tomb of Lazarus and commands him to rise and walk again. To the astonishment of the crowd, Lazarus is brought back to life.
- Destruction of Leviathan: One of the many symbols of evil from the Old Testament is the Leviathan. A massive beast said to inhabit what is known as the Mediterranean Sea, the creature is slain by God who opens the heavens and wields an all-powerful sword to smite the beast.
- Christ in the Synagogue: As his ministry continues to grow, Jesus returns to his hometown of Nazareth. Here, he continues his quest for knowledge and spreads the word of God. As he teaches in the synagogue in Nazareth, many of the onlookers are bemused at the source of his knowledge and power.
The Common Obverse
In the obverse design of all 2020 Biblical Series silver coins, the Scottsdale Mint has chosen to feature the third-generation effigy of Queen Elizabeth II from the Royal Mint of England. Designed by Raphael Maklouf in 1985, the design was featured for just over a decade on British coins until it was replaced in 1998. The right-profile bust of the Queen includes a necklace resting on her shoulders, earrings in her ears, and the George IV State Diadem Crown upon her head. The inscriptions include “Queen Elizabeth II,” “2 oz 999 Fine Silver,” “Niue Two Dollars,” and “2020.”
Biblical Series Packaging, Mintage, and Details
The coins of the 2020 Biblical Series come with beautiful packaging perfect for the display of these beautiful silver coins. Each coin is housed in a felt-lined packaging set inside of a box made to resemble the Bible. On the other interior side of the box is a Certificate of Authenticity from the Scottsdale Mint that includes the passages from the Bible that reference the design on the reverse of each release. The matching serial number is also on the COA.
2020 Biblical Series silver coins are limited to a total mintage of 1,499 coins per design. There is a laser-engraved serial number on the edge of each coin, identifying its position between “1” and “1,499” in the production of the coins. All coins have 2 Troy oz of .999 pure silver with a face value of $2 (NZD) from Niue. Each coin also features a rimless blank with an antique polish that gives each piece an ancient appeal.
History of the Illustrations of the Bible
The designs in this series come from Gustave Dore’s expansive works known informally as illustrations of the Bible. The works were commissioned in 1866 following several successful portfolios of work completed by Dore throughout the prior decade for British publishers. Dore, a French artist, and illustrator, was then chosen as the illustrator to develop new images for a deluxe edition re-release of the 1843 French-language Vulgate Bible. Known as the Bible de Tours, Dore’s work in the series became known as the illustrations for La Grande Bible de Tours. In all, his portfolio included 241 wood-engravings with 139 plates capturing scenes from the Old Testament, 81 plates representing the New Testament, and 21 from the Apocrypha.
Keep Your Biblical Collection Alive with Provident Metals
Make sure you turn to Provident Metals to keep your Biblical Series on track with the new 2020 designs. Our customer service team can field your questions on the phone at 800-313-3315, online through our live chat, and via our email address. Remember to read our weekly blog posts and follow us on Facebook for more information on coin programs and upcoming releases, as well as daily and weekly deals on precious metals.