Legendary German storytellers, the Brothers Grimm, celebrated on a kilo of fine silver

A new coin starting to ship soon from European producer, Modern Numismatics International (MNI), is a typical example of their output. Known for some multi-piece coloured silver coin sets that combine to make a large image, this new limited-edition coloured kilo coin is relatively sedate by their standards, but not by those of other mints.

The Brothers Grimm and their library of tales are well known around the world, not just in their own right but because of the various adaptations that have migrated to the movie world by masters of the animated art, Walt Disney Pictures. Such classics as Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Cinderella all originated from the work of the Grimms and while relatively few know them in their original form, millions know the sanitised versions that were popularised by the animation behemoth in the mid-20th century.

Struck in a kilo of fine 0.999 silver, MNI’s Brothers Grimm coin is an elite affair given no smaller versions are on offer. The reverse face has at its centre a cleanly struck double portrait of the two brothers surrounded by the coin title, ‘The Brothers Grimm’. This section, along with five radiating spokes reaching to the rim, is finished with gilding. Inbetween each pair of spokes is a partially coloured scene from one of the more popular stories. The aforementioned Disney trio, along with Little Red Riding Hood and the tale of Hansel and Gretel populate each segment. It isn’t common to see coloured coins of this size, but there’s no denying that they’re popular and this is a well produced example of the genre and you can see from our phots below, taken of the prototype back in Berlin in February.

Issued for the Solomon Islands, the obverse carries a centrally placed effigy of Queen Elizabeth II (by Ian Rank Broadley), surrounded by inscriptions with the issuer (‘ELIZABETH II, SOLOMON ISLANDS’), date (‘2017’) and denomination (‘100 DOLLARS’). The custom packaging is of an extremely high standard – a glossy wooden box with a reproduction of the coin artwork on the lid. Just 300 will be produced and they’re selling for around €2000/$2500. Available now.

2017 BROTHERS GRIMM KILO SILVER COIN

THE BROTHERS GRIMM

The Brothers Grimm, Jacob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm (1786–1859), were German academics, philologists, cultural researchers, lexicographers and authors who together collected and published folklore during the 19th century. They were among the best-known storytellers of folk tales, and popularized stories such as “Cinderella” (“Aschenputtel”), “The Frog Prince” (“Der Froschkönig”), “The Goose-Girl” (“Die Gänsemagd”), “Hansel and Gretel” (“Hänsel und Gretel”), “Rapunzel”, “Rumpelstiltskin” (“Rumpelstilzchen”), “Sleeping Beauty” (“Dornröschen”), and “Snow White” (“Schneewittchen”). Their first collection of folk tales, Children’s and Household Tales (Kinder- und Hausmärchen), was published in 1812.

The brothers spent their formative years in the German town of Hanau. Their father’s death in 1796 impoverished the family and affected the brothers for many years after. They attended the University of Marburg where they developed a curiosity about German folklore, which grew into a lifelong dedication to collecting German folk tales. The rise of Romanticism during the 19th century revived interest in traditional folk stories, which to the brothers represented a pure form of national literature and culture. With the goal of researching a scholarly treatise on folk tales, they established a methodology for collecting and recording folk stories that became the basis for folklore studies. Between 1812 and 1857, their first collection was revised and republished many times, growing from 86 stories to more than 200. In addition to writing and modifying folk tales, the brothers wrote collections of well-respected German and Scandinavian mythologies, and in 1838 they began writing a definitive German dictionary (Deutsches Wörterbuch), which they were unable to finish during their lifetimes.

Many of the Grimms’ folk tales have enjoyed enduring popularity. The tales are available in more than 100 languages and have been adapted by filmmakers including Lotte Reiniger and Walt Disney, with films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Sleeping Beauty. During the 1930s and 40s, the tales were used as propaganda by the Third Reich; later in the 20th century psychologists such as Bruno Bettelheim reaffirmed the value of the work, in spite of the cruelty and violence in original versions of some of the tales, which the Grimms eventually sanitized. (Source: Wikipedia)

SPECIFICATION

NAME 2017 BROTHERS GRIMM
DENOMINATION $100 Solomon Islands
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 1,001 grams
DIAMETER 100.00 mm
FINISH Brilliant uncirculated
MODIFICATIONS Selective gilding and colour
MINTAGE 300
BOX / COA Yes / Yes
MODERN NUMISMATICS INTERNATIONAL