The central one shows a floating Christ with arms outstretched as if on the cross, against a blue sky studded with thirty-three stars, one for each of Christ's years on earth. The plaque to the left depicts the Virgin Mary, the one above an angel and the one below Adam rising from Golgotha (the hill on which Christ was nailed to the Cross). The right-hand plaque, which unfortunately is missing, would have shown St John the Evangelist. The plaques were made using the champlevé technique, where the goldsmith engraves the design into copper and lays powdered coloured glass into the grooves. This fuses with the metal when fired and is then gilded with a mercury-gold solution.
The cross has been in the British Museum's collection since 1895, but the central plaque of Christ has only recently been restored to its original setting. The plaque eventually became part of the Keir Collection, owned by London-based collector Edmund de Unger.
While on loan to the British Museum in 1981 for a temporary display its connection to the altar cross was realised. Mr de Unger's generosity in donating the plaque to the Museum in 2003 led to a rare and exciting reunion between the two objects.
The reverse captures the centrepiece of the altar cross. It shows a floating Christ (in high relief) with arms outstretched as if on the cross, against a blue sky studded with thirty-three stars, one for each of Christ's years on earth. The silver coin is gilded and lacquered.Due to the holes in the coin, it can be worn as a necklace as well. The obverse features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the year of issue and the denomination of the coin.
The World Heritage - Altar Cross silver coin is packaged inside an elegant, red wooden box. It is in a beautiful case, which is doing a great job in staging the remarkable coin. The Certificate of Authenticity is displayed on the inner packaging and matches the number on the coin. 1 Oz 31,1 g.
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Fell free to contact if you have any questions. The item "Niue 2015 $2 Icon World Heritage Altar Cross 1 Oz Silver Coin Gilded ONLY 999" is in sale since Thursday, May 21, 2015. This item is in the category "Coins & Paper Money\Coins\ World\Australia & Oceania\South Pacific". The seller is "worldancient" and is located in Etobicoke, Ontario. This item can be shipped worldwide.