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Two kinds of Exodus

Headlines this morning make an interesting pairing.

The Russian ruble is falling dramatically. It was down 13 percent yesterday. It is down another 10 percent as this is written.

The ruble has lost 56 percent of its value since the beginning of the year.

Where 32 bought a U.S. dollar, now it is 73.

Holders of rubles are desperately trying to leave it.

Another word for leaving is “exodus,” but the bullion sales firm APMEX is trying to attract buyers today by beginning sales of a new coin from Niue that commemorates the Exodus of the Israelites from ancient Egypt.

The movie of that name opened in theaters this past weekend.

If APMEX were accepting rubles, the 1,499 coins would sell out in a flash as the coin is two troy ounces of .999 fine silver.

The new coin is made by the Scottsdale Mint and it depicts Moses parting the Red Sea to open the way out of Egypt for his people.

It has an antiqued brushed finish. On the obverse is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

According to APMEX this is the first issue of a new biblical series.

Each coin has a serial number on it etched by laser. A certificate of authenticity with a matching number lists the minting specifications and relates the story behind the coin.

Whether owners of rubles will find a pathway out of their troubles is problematic despite the fact that Russia’s central bank has one of the top 10 official gold reserves in the world.

Likely buyers of the new coin will be using some of their dollar holdings instead.

They will find it easy to make the exchange of dollars for coins.

“APMEX is proud to be the exclusive dealer of this inspiring and one of a kind series,” APMEX vice president of Merchandising Andrew Martineau said. “We’re committed to giving our customers variety and options they can’t get anywhere else and this coin and series is just another example.”

Statements from the Bank of Russia are much less cheerful.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."