“Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin” silver collector coin put into circulation

The Central Bank of has put the “Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin” silver collector coin into circulation.

          The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin is the spiritual center of all and the Holy See of the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.

          The Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin is the first official cathedral of the Christian world, which was built in 301-303, initiated by and through the efforts of St. Trdat III Great Armenian king and St. Gregory the Illuminator. The temple was built based on the vision of St. Gregory the Illuminator, according to which the Only Begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, descended to the Ararat Valley, the capital of Armenia Vagharshapat, and ordered that the temple of God – “the house of prayer and supplication of all believers, the seat of the priesthood” be right there.

          The Mother Cathedral was originally built on a cruciform base with a central dome, making Holy Etchmiadzin the first cross-domed church in world ecclesiastical architecture. In the 17th century, a three-story bell tower was built to the western entrance of the Cathedral, with small bell towers added on the northern, eastern and southern apses. In 1869 three halls were built along the eastern wall of the Cathedral as a depository-museum. In 17-18th centuries, the interior of the Mother Cathedral was decorated with frescoes painted by the Hovnatanians, a famous family of painters.

          Over the centuries, the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin has been renovated under the auspices of Armenian princes, national benefactors (Al. Mantashian, Gulbenkian Foundation, Louise Manoogian Simon and Manoogian family), benefiting generous donations of all Armenians, in cooperation with the Armenian state.

          On the initiative of Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, a comprehensive renovation of the Mother Cathedral began in 2012, which is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

          In 2000 the Mother Cathedral was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Technical specification        

Face value                         30100 dram
Metal/fineness                    silver 9990
Weight                             1000,0 g
Diameter                           100,0 mm
Quality                             proof
Edge                                interrupted ribbed, numbered
Quantity                           301 pcs
Year of issue                      2020
Author of the project: CIT Coin Invest AG, Liechtenstein.
Minted in the Mayer Mint, Germany.
Obverse:        The Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin.
Reverse:        The altar of the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin against the background of the inner part of the dome.


Collector coins are made of precious metals and are issued to present to the society the national, international, historical and cultural, spiritual and other values of the country, to immortalize these values in the metal and to meet the demands of the numismatic market.

Like any other currency the collector coins have face value which makes them the means of payment. However, the face value of these coins is much lower that their cost price which includes the cost of the precious metal used for manufacturing of the coin, mintage and other expenses. Low face value and high cost price allow these coins to be considered as the items of collection and not the means of payment used in money circulation. The collector coins have also the sale price set by the Central Bank of Armenia.

As the items of collection the collector coins are issued in very restricted quantities and are not reissued.

Numismatists, collectors and all interested persons can buy the Armenian collector coins in the sales salon “Numismatist” which is in the building of the Central Bank of Armenia and is open for everyone.

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