J Hand Microsurg 2017; 09(03): 170-171
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1606624
Letter to the Editor
Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd.

The Story of Creation of Adam by the Hands on the Vatican City Coins

Ahmadreza Afshar1
  • 1Department of Orthopedics, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran
Further Information

Publication History

30 March 2017

08 August 2017

Publication Date:
18 September 2017 (eFirst)

The story of creation of Adam has a central pivot in the Abrahamic religions; however, there are some differences in the details of the story in the different faiths. The Adam can be referred to the first created individual of human being as well as to the general creation of humankind. The myth provides a basis for the belief that all the human beings are in essence a single family.[1] [2] Some episodes of this story are demonstrated by the hands on some commemorative coins issued by the Vatican City. In the iconic context of the coins, the hands represent the hand of God that creates, protects, helps, and presents a message. All the coins were minted during the reign (1978–2005) of Pope Ioannes Paulus II (1920–2005).

The story begins with the creation of the universe ([Fig. 1]). God created Adam from Earth dust ([Fig. 2]) and breathed to him to become a living soul ([Fig. 3]). Then, Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden. Adam was given domination over animals and plants. Adam named all the animals with the help of God ([Fig. 4]). God prohibited Adam and Eve to eat from the fruits of the forbidden tree. However, Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit because of the temptations of a serpent ([Fig. 5]). God realized the disobedience and expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Adam came to the Earth ([Fig. 6]). God gives a loaf of bread to feed the human being on the Earth ([Fig. 7]).[1] [2]

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Fig. 1 Creation of the universe: a hand reaches to the globe. Mint date: 1983; material: bimetallic; center: aluminum-bronze; periphery: stainless steel; weight: 6.8 g; diameter: 25.8 mm; denomination: 500 lire.
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Fig. 2 Creation of Adam. The hands create humankind. Coin type: commemorative; mint date: 1983; material: aluminum-bronze; weight: 5 g; diameter: 24 mm; denomination: 200 lire.
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Fig. 3 Adam is in the God's hands. God breathed soul to Adam to give him life. Coin type: commemorative; mint date: 1988; material: aluminum-bronze; weight: 5 g; diameter: 24; denomination: 200 lire.
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Fig. 4 Adam in the God's hand is naming animals. The picture shows the preponderance of Adam on the animals with the help of God. Coin type: commemorative; mint date: 1988; material: stainless steel; weight: 8 g; diameter: 27.75; denomination: 100 lire.
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Fig. 5 Apple tree is flanked by a pair of hands. The hands warn against eating from the tree. Commemorative issue: temptation of Adam and Eve; mint date: 1988; material: aluminum-bronze; weight: 3.6 g; diameter: 21.25 mm; denomination: 20 lire.
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Fig. 6 The context consists of a kneeling figure and flanked by a hand. God gives the world to humankind. Coin type: commemorative; mint date: 1983; material: stainless steel; weight: 8 g; diameter: 27. 8; denomination: 100 lire.
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Fig. 7 Hands present a loaf of bread within globe. Mint date: 1992; material: bimetallic-center, aluminum-bronze; periphery: stainless steel; weight: 6.8 g; diameter: 25.8 mm; denomination: 500 lire.