Friday,15 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1372, (7 - 13 December 2017)
Friday,15 December, 2017
Issue 1372, (7 - 13 December 2017)

Ahram Weekly

The Jesus coin collection

Twelve souvenir coins featuring the life of Jesus are now on offer from the Egyptian Mint Authority, reports Amira El-Noshokaty

The Jesus coin collection

Coinciding with the Christmas season, the Ministry of Finance’s Mint Authority has recently released its Jesus Christ Collection of 12 souvenir coins featuring 12 major events in the life of Christ on one side and a matching verse from the Bible on the other.

 The collection aims to help promote Christian spiritual and religious tourism to Egypt and is available in silver-plated copper coins at around LE1,500 for the collection and silver coins at around LE6,000, Abdel Raouf Al-Ahmadi, head of the Mint Authority, told Al-Ahram Weekly.

The idea of the collection was not new, he said, as “many customised orders for private collections have been met over the years. However, this is the first time that the authority has undertaken such an initiative.”

“When a government body initiates Christian spiritual souvenirs, this is a message to the world of the unity and fraternity between Muslims and Christians in Egypt,” Amir Ibrahim of the Mint Authority told the Weekly.

It also encourages people to find out more about Christianity, he added, commenting that Islam encourages people to respect other prophets.

According to Ibrahim, the 12 coins represent 12 major events in Christ’s life that the four gospels in the Bible agree on. “We verified the designs with the Coptic Church,” he noted, explaining that the coins show stages in Christ’s life beginning with al-bishara, the omen announcing his birth.

“We started with the Virgin Mary because she is the mother of us all and not only the Christians,” noted Ibrahim. The coins feature the birth of Christ and the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt. They also include the baptism, the disciples, the Sermon on the Mount, the miracles of Christ, the entry to Jerusalem, the Last Supper, Gethsemane, the crucifixion and resurrection.


The Jesus coin collection

The authority has been inspired to start working on a collection documenting the paths taken by the Holy Family in Egypt, Ibrahim said.

Although it has been on display for only a few months in two public exhibitions, the collection has already proven a great success. The authority has already sold sets of coins worth some LE1 million and has received requests worth LE1 million more, Ibrahim told the Weekly.

The Egyptian Mint Authority was established in 1954. Aside from minting Egypt’s currency, it has also issued souvenir coins commemorating Egyptian icons and events. Coins bearing the image of former president Gamal Abdel-Nasser and the singer Om Kalthoum have also been issued by the authority, together with coins commemorating 14 centuries of the Islamic Hijra.

However, this is not all the Mint Authority has to offer. The week, the Weekly was given a special peek at the newly renovated Museum of Medals and Coins in Cairo that will soon be reopened to the public.

The museum houses coins and medals dating back to the 19th century, together with the collections of the former ruling Mohamed Ali family and coins and medals produced during the rule of former monarch king Farouk and former president Gamal Abdel-Nasser.

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