It’s Halloween time and the Art Mint celebrate with third hit silver coin

A cool little series from the Art Mint, a Paris-based coin producer most noted for its beautiful Mandala series of high-end silver coins, the Halloween series has hit its third birthday. Launching in 2014 with a glow-in-the-dark pumpkin coin, the annual series was revisited in 2015 with a design featuring a witch flying accross the moon. That one also glowed in the dark, something that is the signature feature of this series.

Fast forward to 2016 and the third coin has now appeared. Sticking strongly with elements of the spooky holiday, we get to take a delve into a glowing haunted house. Issued for Niue again, the 2016 entry is another, clean and bold looking coin. We like these, and if the recent aftermarket appreciation of the first coin is any indication, so do a lot of other collectors. The coloured house sits boldly in the middle of a themed, clean-struck background full of little Halloween touches like bats, ghosts and a witch on a broomstick. When the lights go out, the windows of the house glow.

As it’s issued for the Commonwealth country of Niue, the obverse of the coin carries the obligatory portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Packaging is colourful, but free of gimmicks. Mintage stays at a tiny 499 pieces like the 2015 coin, 200 less than the debut release. We think these are an enjoyable set of coins, using photo-luminescence to good effect. Selling for around the €120 mark, site sponsors PowerCoin and First Coin Company stock this series and should get this one. It will ship from the end of the month.

2016 HAUNTED HOUSE BEFORE AND AFTER GLOW

MINTS DESCRIPTION

A haunted house is a house or other building often perceived as being inhabited by disembodied spirits of the deceased who may have been former residents or were familiar with the property. Parapsychologistsattribute haunting to the spirits of the dead and the effect of violent or tragic events in the building’s past such as murder, accidental death, or suicide. More scientific explanations for the perception that a house is haunted include misinterpreting noises naturally present in structures, waking dreams, suggestibility, and the effect of toxic substances in environments that can cause hallucinations. In a 2005, Gallup poll, 37 percent of Americans, 28 percent of Canadians, and 40 percent of Britons expressed the belief that houses could be “haunted”.

DESIGN: On coin reverse there is a coloured image of the classical “Haunted House” , elements of Halloween tradition and the inscriptions: ‘Happy halloween’.
The coin obverse shows the nominal value, an image of the Queen Elizabeth II with inscription, ‘Elizabeth II’, the name of the issuer, ‘Niue Island’ and the year of issue 2016.

THE GLOW EFFECT AND THE PACKAGING

HALLOWEEN

The word Halloween is a contraction of All Hallows’ Eve (Evening). Halloween’s Day is always on the 31st of October, and it is a day where ‘the veil’ between worlds (as in the world of the living versus the world of the dead) is supposed to be thinner than usual. You’re supposed to be more apt to see ghosts (and the souls of the dearly departed) on this day, and some good folks actually spending the day – and most particularly the night – at haunted locations in an attempt to do so. Others want to avoid seeing ghosts, and that is actually part of the reason why people dress up in intimidating costumes – to ward off ghosts, demons and evil spirits.

In Spain, Latin America, and Mexico they celebrate Hallowmass, and the third day of that is the most important one – it’s called All Soul’s Day – a.k.a. Halloween, the 31st October. But the traditions of dressing up in frightening or funny costumes, apple bobbing, having parades, dancing, having masquerades and rave parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, playing pranks – as well as visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching funny or frightening films on this day existed (and exists!) in other cultures and countries around the world as well.

In some countries it is considered a harvest festival, and in Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany, Wales and the Scottish Highlands there’s a very old tradition called Samhain (“summer’s end”), which has been considered of great importance for ages. This, like Halloween, includes a thinning of the veil between worlds, which means that spirits and fairies and such can visit our world. The kids on Halloween play games (like apple bobbing) and, more importantly, there’s “guising” or trick-or-treating where they dress up in costumes and go from door to door and collect sweets and candy. The “Trick or treat?” statement the kids make is actually a (mostly empty) threat to do pranks (play tricks) if they don’t get sweets (treats). This tradition goes all the way back to Shakespeare’s time, because it is mentioned in his play ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’ from 1593.

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2 NEW ZEALAND 0.999 SILVER 31.1 g 38.6 mm PROOF  499 YES / YES

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THE ART MINT