“ 'Tis the most wonderful time of the year!”.... well maybe not quite yet, but that that isn't stopping several world mints from issuing Christmas themed coins already for everyone who wants to get their Christmas coin shopping done early.
The first mint in line this year is the New Zealand Mint, with the Mint of Finland expected to follow suit soon afterwords, who is releasing their Disney themed Christmas coins nice and early. Following on from last year's example the New Zealand Mint will be issuing both a 1/2oz silver coin as well as a 1oz silver coin for their festive Season's Greetings Disney Silver Coin collection.
The ½ oz silver coin has a very similar design to the previous two years' coins with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Duck as well as Goofy and Pluto all wearing Christmas inspired clothing and hats while being surrounded by brightly wrapped presents. The Disney characters all received a colour finish, with the rest of the coin left in a traditional proof finish. On the top half of the reverse design is the engraved inscription “Season's Greetings” in two lines, surrounded by five descending snowflakes. The only other detail on the reverse are the words : “1/2 oz 999 Fine Silver © Disney”.
The coin is issued in the New Zealand Mint's trademark book-style presentation case, decorated with the coin's reverse design with a few Christmas wreaths added for good measure. On the inside of the case the coin is actually contained in a star shaped clear capsule with a ribbon attached to the top point of the star. A rather novel but nice addition that makes it ready to be used as a Christmas decoration, should one be so inclined.
The case has a printed and numbered certificate of authenticity along with a very brief description of the coin itself. Under the coin itself appears a festive message that reads :
Yay for the holidays! Celebrate with friends and enjoy some festive fun through the most joyful time of the year. Happy holidays from Mickey Mouse and the gang! Enjoy this season of wonder and magic...
Both coins share the standard New Zealand Mint obverse design bearing the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II, along with the legend describing the ruler, country of issue, date of issue and denomination. In this case that reads “ELIZABETH II”, “NIUE”, “2016” and “ONE DOLLAR”. In the case of the 1oz coin “ONE DOLLAR” is simply replaced with “TWO DOLLARS”
The 1oz silver coin stems from the Season's Greetings Classic series which this year marks it's second issue. The series' design is derived of historical artwork from The Walt Disney Company’s corporate Season’s Greetings cards. These rarely seen cards were originally created for distribution exclusively to key figures in the motion picture industry by the talented artists and designers of The Walt Disney Company. The 2016 coin owes it's design to the original 1948 Disney Corporate Season's Greetings card.
The reverse design features a colourised image of a clearly exited Mickey Mouse, still dressed in his blue polka-dot pajamas, carrying a candle that seemingly illuminates the rest of the coin. Surrounding the red candle's flame is a large engraved six pointed snowflake. The words “SEASON'S GREETINGS” are inscribed below the cheerfully optimistic scene. As usual the coin's purity is described along the rim of the coin on the reverse as well, “1 oz 999 Fine Silver © Disney”.
The coin is issued in a book type display case that is here styled to look like the same 1948 corporate greeting card from which the design was taken. On the inside is a printed and numbered certificate of authenticity.
Both coins are struck from pure silver(.999 Fineness) and carry a limited mintage of 10 000 coins each. The 1/2oz coin measures 32mm(1.2598 Inch) while the 1oz coin is 40mm(1.5748 inch) both with a milled edge and raised rim.
The coins are very colourful without being garishly so and overall are well designed silver collector's pieces that I an sure will bring joy to the heart of many a Disney fan, both young and young at heart. The coins can now be ordered directly from the New Zealand Mint and are listed at US$60.00 and US$80.00 respectively at launch. Alternatively these should be available from most respectable international coin dealers soon.