The Fijian Dollar has been the currency of Fiji since 1969. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively FJ$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 cents.
Apart from the regular circulating dollar coins, Fiji has authorised a number of private mints to issue collector coins which are legal tender in the country but are not intended for general circulation. These are usually made using "smartminting" or other innovative techniques.
This coin is part of a 12-coin series by the Helvetic Mint featuring the Twelve Apostles from the Bible, and shows one of them - Simon.
Simon the Zealot (Acts 1:13, Luke 6:15) or Simon the Canaanite or Simon the Canaanean (Matthew 10:4, Mark 3:18; Greek: Σίμων ὁ Κανανίτης; Coptic: ⲥⲓⲙⲱⲛ ⲡⲓ-ⲕⲁⲛⲁⲛⲉⲟⲥ; Classical Syriac: ܫܡܥܘܢ ܩܢܢܝܐ) was one of the most obscure among the apostles of Jesus. A few pseudepigraphical writings were connected to him, but Saint Jerome does not include him in De viris illustribus written between 392–393 AD.
The Mint says about the series:
"Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer with God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Peter (the Prince of the Apostles), Andrew, James the Greater, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the Lesser, Thaddeus, Simon and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. The Lord chose these holy men for their unfeigned love, and gave them eternal glory. Their message goes out through all the earth until nowadays. Through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the end of the world, their message. We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the glorious company of Apostles praise you."
The obverse of the coin shows at its centre the crowned mature head of Queen Elizabeth II facing right (her effigy known as the "Fourth Portrait"). The Queen wears the "Girls of Great Britain and Ireland" diamond tiara, a wedding gift from Queen Mary (Her Majesty's grandmother) in 1947 - which she also has on the Machin and the Gottwald portraits.
Normally, the initials of the designer Ian Rank-Broadley are below the neck truncation when this portrait of the Queen is used on coinage, but they are not displayed here..
Above the effigy is the monarch's name: ELIZABETH II. Below the effigy, the face value, country and date of issue: 1 DOLLAR FIJI 2012.
It is unclear why the Queen's effigy is shown, given that she was Queen of Fiji only until 1987, after which time the country became a republic.
The reverse of the coin shows Saint Simon the Zealot, one of the Twelve Apostles (followers of Jesus), holding his attribute of a saw. In art, Simon has the identifying attribute of a saw because he was traditionally martyred by being sawn in half.
Around above left, the inscription reads SIMON, below which the Chi Rho symbol: ☧ - one of the earliest forms of christogram, formed by superimposing the first two (capital) letters - chi and rho (ΧΡ) - of the Greek word ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ (Christos) in such a way that the vertical stroke of the rho intersects the centre of the chi.
The design is coloured, on a gold background.