Egypt’s Mint Authority has released its most recent issue of commemorative coins, a collection featuring the last three patriarchs of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Salah al-Basha, Curator of the Mint Authority Museum, told Watani that the new collection comes within the interest and efforts of the Public Treasury and the Mint to commemorate Egypt’s political, economic, and religious history; also significant figures in the history of the country.
The Patriarch’s Collection, Mr Basha told Watani, was achieved through the joint effort of the Mint and the papal headquarters as well as the Institute of Coptic Studies.
The three coin collection features the current Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St Mark, Pope Tawadros II and his two predecessors Pope Shenouda III (1923 – 2012) and Pope Kyrillos VI (1902 – 1971).
The collection is intended to commemorate fifty years on the passing away of Pope Kyrillos VI, and the golden jubilee of the coronation of Pope Shenouda III.
All three patriarchs are widely loved and venerated by Copts and Egyptians at large.
Pope Kyrillos was patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church in 1959 – 1971. He was canonised in June 2013, his feast is celebrated on 9 March, the date that coincides with his departure. Pope Shenouda III was pope in 1971 – 2012.
The Mint Authority sells the high relief collection in a red velvet box made especially to house the collection.
The faces of the three Coptic popes figure in high relief each on the face of a coin with his name written in Coptic, and one of his most famous quotes on the upper arc of the coin.
The flip of the coins which features the face of Pope Kyrillos is a three dimensional model of St Mark’s Cathedral in Abbassiya, which he built and opened in 1968. It carries his words: “Pray all the time”.
Pope Shenouda’s flip coin features the papal headquarters in Abbasiya, which celebrates 60 years on its establishment this year. The words it carries are: “Egypt is a homeland which lives in us”.
Pope Tawadros’s face is on the side of the coin which has a relief model of the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Christ, which was opened in January 2019 by Pope Tawadros and President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi in the New Administrative Capital.His quote: “Love one another”.
The coins are made of nickel and come in three versions: a silver collection, a silver plated one with 800 carat silver, and a bronze plated copper version. Each coin is 61 millimetres in diameter and 5 millimetres thick.
The Mint Authority has so far released 300 sets of the Patriarch’s collection, but has authorisation to release up to 1000 sets according to market demand.
This is the 6th collection of commemorative coins the Mint issues. The first was the 12-coin Christ Collection in 2017; followed by the 12-coin Treasures of Pharaonic Egypt Collection in 2018; the 12-coin Holy Family Collection in 2018; the Muhammad Ali Pasha Dynasty Collection in 2019; and the 6-coin Historical Cairo Collection in 2020.
The only outlet selling these collection is at the Mint in Cairo.
14 February 2021