Literary works make great subjects for coins. Unlike movies and television series, there remains considerable scope for interpretation, and thus creativity when bringing these works to life on our favourite little metal discs. Even so, you kick off with a huge head start when you choose a work evoking such potent imagery as American author Edgar Allan Poe’s much admired work, The Raven.
A narrative poem first published in January 1845, It tells of a talking raven’s mysterious visit to a distraught lover lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore,
and tracing the man’s slow fall into madness. The raven, sitting on a bust of Pallas, antagonises the man with its constant repetition of the word “Nevermore”. The video below has a recording of the complete work by the brilliant actor, Christopher Lee.
The Commonwealth Mint has chosen to launch its new ‘Spooky Stories’ range with a cool looking design celebrating the 175th anniversary of the first publication of ‘The Raven’. With the raven and the word most associated with the poem picked out with black rhodium plating, it employs a layering of silhouettes to bring the poem to life. The obverse is a simple effigy of QEII surrounded by the usual inscriptions.
A 2oz fine silver coin struck to a proof finish, it reaches out to a good 50 mm in diameter, so we have high hopes this will be an impressive piece in the hand. It will come boxed with a certificate of authenticity, and is scheduled to star shipping in late November. Also due for possible release in early 2020 is a second design marking the 200th anniversary of the publication of Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Another cool design of similar style, you can see it lower down. Mintages of each coin will be 500 pieces.