Santa season continues with PAMP’s latest shaped silver coin featuring the beloved character

Every year sees a good mix of Christmas coins from various national and independent mints, and most of them have Santa Claus in the design in one form or another. We don’t usually cover many of these as they seem to appeal to the gift market rather than outright coin collectors, but this one seems aprticularly well done, so here we are.

It’s a one-ounce 0.9999 silver coin that borrows from PAMP’s recent shark and birds of prey series with a shaped outline. Here, a full on portrait of Santa Claus, brightly coloured, forms the basis for the coin shape, cleverly using the bobble on the end of the hat to carry the date and composition. It just seemed a neat change from what is generally, outside of the NZ Mint’s excellent ‘Season’s Greetings’ issues, an unimaginative bunch of coins.

The obverse picks up some neat touches as well. Issued for the Solomon Islands, it has the Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II at its centre, but surrounded by lots of unique snowflake patterns. The packaging is bright, colourful and looks well designed to give as a gift. With a mintage of 2,020 pieces and an RRP of around $100, it’s a nice package for the casual collector.

SANTA CLAUS

Known throughout the world as a chubby white-bearded man dresses in red and white, the legend of Santa Claus is actually far older. Said to have origins in the historical Saint Nicholas (a fourth-century Greek bishop and gift-giver of Myra), the modern interpretation has sprinklings of the British figure of Father Christmas, and the Dutch figure of Sinterklaa. Some maintain Santa Claus includes elements of the Germanic deity Wodan, who was associated with the pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky.

The modern character has been greatly reinforced in popular culture through the advertising skills of the Coca Cola Corporation, who placed the figure centrally to its seasonal marketing in the early 20th century going forward, itself based on the 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” and the works of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast.

Today, the figure is inextricably linked with the Christmas holiday and remains one of the most widelyknown characters in history. It’s quite surreal seeing Santa and a snowman outside a Caribbean supermarket in blistering 30ºC heat!

(Source: based on Wikipedia)

Art Mint ad
SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $2 (Solomon Islands)
COMPOSITION 0.9999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.0 mm
FINISH Proof
MODIFICATIONS Coloured, shaped
MINTAGE 2,020
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
Pobjoy Mint ad
European Mint ad
MTB METALS / PAMP