Sunday, May 22, 2011

Israel Commemorates 63rd Year of Statehood With Dead Sea Coins

To mark the 63rd anniversary of Israeli Statehood, the Israel Mint has released three precious metal coins, each featuring the famous Dead Sea. The coins, available as 1 New Sheqel Silver Prooflike, 2 New Sheqel Silver Proof and 10 New Sheqel Gold Proof, are offered as a set of three coins, with the two silver coins also being offered individually.

Israel 2011 Dead Sea 3-Coin Set

Each year the Israel Mint releases it's precious metal commemorative coins to the expectant demand of worldwide collectors. The themes contained on each years releases have included many different facets of Israeli life as well as biblical stories.

About the Dead Sea:

The Dead Sea, also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are 423 metres (1,388 ft) below sea level,[2] the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface on dry land. The Dead Sea is 377 m (1,237 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With 33.7% salinity, it is also one of the world's saltiest bodies of water, though Lake Assal (Djibouti), Garabogazköl and some hypersaline lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica (such as Don Juan Pond) have reported higher salinities. It is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea is 67 kilometres (42 mi) long and 18 kilometres (11 mi) wide at its widest point. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, and its main tributary is the Jordan River.

The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. Biblically, it was a place of refuge for King David. It was one of the world's first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from balms for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers. People also use the salt and the minerals from the Dead Sea to create cosmetics and herbal sachets. In 2009, 1.2 million foreign tourists visited on the Israeli side.

The sea has a density of 1.24 kg/L, making swimming difficult but providing a relaxing floating experience.

Israel 2011 1 New Sheqel Silver Prooflike

Each of the three coins features the same design on the reverse side: An aerial image of the Dead Sea and the land surrounding it - together with the image of a wild goat, one of the many example of wildlife in the area. To the left is the inscription for "Dead Sea" in Arabic, English and Hebrew.

The Obverse of each coin has it's respective denomination, as well as country and year of issue and the commemoration of Israel's independence day for 2011.

Israel 2011 2 New Sheqel Silver Proof

The 1 New Sheqel silver coin is struck from 14.4 grams of 92.5% sterling silver on a 30mm flan with a worldwide mintage of 1,800, to proof-like quality. The 2 New Sheqel is struck from 28.8 grams of 92.5% sterling silver on a 38.61mm flan with a worldwide mintage of 5,000, to proof quality. The 10 New Sheqel gold coin is struck from 16.96 grams of 22-carat gold on a 30mm flan. The 3 coin set has a release mintage of 555 sets issued worldwide, to proof quality.

Adding to the value of both the individual coins and the 3-coin set, each coin/set is presented in official Israel Mint packaging, which includes a smaple of actual salt from the Dead Sea. The coins/set are accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

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