Christmas Coins

Back in September, it seemed the world’s mints might be issuing a smaller number of coins to mark the 2018 Christmas/Holiday Season than last year. Come October, the situation changed rapidly. Those looking for a Christmas gift for the numismatist in their life will find they are spoiled for choice whether their preference is religious, secular, or Disneyfied.

Perth Mint’s star-shaped silver Christmas dollar features Bugs Bunny & friend. (Image courtesy The Perth Mint & Warner Brothers: TM & © WBEI [s18])As usual, Australia’s Perth Mint was the first one off the mark. This year it issues its ninth distinctive star-shaped and colorized 40.60 mm, 31.135 gram (1 ounce), .9999 fine silver Australian dollar.

The design shows Bugs Bunny and friend embracing fondly under the mistletoe. It is a natural follow-on from the several Looney Tunes® coins Perth produced in 2018. The coin can double as a tree ornament or be gifted in a Christmas card. Mintage is 3,000.

The same design is used on a BU round 30.60 mm, 13.50 g, aluminum-bronze dollar struck for Tuvalu. It comes as part of an Australia Post philatelic-numismatic cover complete with a 65-cent “Glad Tidings” stamp.

Two festive but dinkum Aussie Koalas exchange gifts under a gum tree on the colored reverse of this Australian aluminum-bronze dollar. It is available as part of an Australia Post PNC. (Image courtesy The Perth Mint & Australia Post)

A second PNC contains a similar-sized colored Australian aluminum-bronze dollar. This features two Christmas-hatted Koalas exchanging presents under a mini eucalyptus (gum) tree in the Aussie outback. The accompanying postage stamp reads “Jingle Bells.”

British Royal Mint’s offering: “R is for Robin” 10p stocking filler. (Image courtesy & © Royal Mint)

Britain’s Royal Mint is promoting the “R-is-for-Robin” 10p, from its “Great British Alphabetical Coin Hunt,” as an appropriate Christmas coin gift. Certainly this reporter would be most happy to find the silver version in his Christmas stocking.

Then there is the 38.61 mm, 28.28 g, cupro-nickel Nutcracker Great British £5. The reverse design by Harry Brockway shows the Nutcracker soldier and his Ballerina sweetheart as the radiants of an eight-pointed snowflake. The coin is available in a Christmas card, Advent calendar, or official Royal Mint Christmas stocking.

And once again the BRM has produced a traditional 19.41 mm, 3.35 g, .925 fine silver sixpence that once delighted small children when extracted with due diligence from their Christmas pudding.

Reverses of Cameroon’s 500 francs CFA Christmas-themed proofs. (Images courtesy Mennica Polska)

Mennica Polska has struck two 500 francs CFA proofs for the Republic of Cameroon. Mintage of both is 999.

One consists of a 27.00 mm, 8.80 g, .925 fine silver double-pierced trinket. The partially gilded reverse shows an angel cradled by the sickle moon contemplating the heavens above. Piercings enable a suspension cord to be strung through the piece.

The second is a 33.07×42.50 mm, 20.00 g, .999 fine silver angel-shaped coin. The reverse bears a digital-printed image of a Manga-esque, laser-frosted angel clutching a kitten and crowned with a Christmas wreath. Wrapped gifts stand below.

Mickey & assorted friends celebrate a Niuean Christmas on a colorized 50 cents and $2. (Image courtesy Power Coin)

If a Disney Christmas is the order of the day, then the Pacific island of Niue is where it’s at. Mickey and friends celebrate on a 32 mm, 15.57 g, .999 fine silver 50 cents proof while other assorted Disney characters mix and match on a rectangular 31×53 mm, 31.1 g, .999 fine silver $2 proof. Mintages are 10,000 apiece.

Solomon Island’s colored proof $5 features Father Frost & Snow Maiden along with one of the Matryoshka Dolls in which it comes housed. (Images courtesy MDM Münzhandelsgesellschaft)

MDM Münzhandelsgesellschaft has opted for a traditional winter’s tale: Father Frost & The Snow Maiden. It comes served with appropriate frostings on a colored oval 45×30 mm, 1 oz, .999 fine silver proof Solomon Island’s $5. The coin is contained inside a Matryoshka Doll pair. Mintage is 5,000.

Reverse of Macedonian 10 denar celebrating Saint Nicholas, the Wonderworker, whose feast day occurs on Dec. 6. (Image courtesy International Coin House)

For those who prefer to mark their Christmas with a time-honored theme, International Coin House has released a rectangular 25×11 mm, 7g, .925 fine silver Macedonian 10 denar celebrating Saint Nicholas himself. The selectively colored reverse depicts the saint with halo picked out in gold powder and accompanied by two Swarovski crystal inserts.

Nicholas should perhaps be the patron saint of numismatics. He is the person credited with starting the tradition of giving coins as gifts. His feast day is Dec. 6.

Two currently available Royal Canadian Mint Christmas/Holiday seasonal coins. Left: Snowball fight 50 cents. Right: Glass decoration $25 proof. (Images courtesy RCM)

The Royal Canadian Mint continues its range of Christmas/Holiday Season coins. This year’s issues are led by a neat stocking stuffer. Artist Tony Bianco has produced a 3D snowball fight in full color. The 50 cents is struck on a 25 mm, 12.61 g, nickel-plated steel flan and has a mintage of 20,000.

And for those wanting something a tad more Christmassy, there is a 2018 36.07 mm, 30.75 g, .9999 fine silver proof $25. The design by Calder Moore is that of a glass tree ornament that is further evoked by the coin’s concave shape and the addition of a red Swarovski® crystal. Mintage is 5,500.

This year’s numismatic Advent Calendar being sold Down Under by Melbourne Coin Company. (Image courtesy Melbourne Coin Company)

For a fourth year, Australia’s Melbourne Coin Company is selling a numismatic Advent Calendar. It comes with 24 windows that, when opened over 24 days in December, will reveal 24 different world coins from Andorra to Zambia. The full coin list can be seen at https://melbournecoinco.com/.

Palau’s gold Christmas tree dollar makes a regular appearance each Christmas season. (Images courtesy Coin Invest Trust)

Last but far from least, Palau’s perpetual Golden Christmas Tree dollar is still available from Lichtenstein’s Coin Invest Trust. The tiny 11 mm, 0.5 g, BU gold coin has a mintage of 15,000. It is an ideal stocking filler or tree ornament.

Further releases were anticipated after close of copy. A quick Google search should reveal these latecomers.

In the meantime, a most Merry numismatic Christmas to one and all. Happy Holidays! Yo! Ho! Ho!