Powercoin’s Fear Tales returns with the sad and poignant tale of the Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen

The dark and disturbing world of fairy tales returns to numismatics with the second in Powercoins ‘Fear Tales’ series of two-ounce silver coins. The series debuted last November with an attractive ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ coin, employing a very distinctive artistic style that was part Edvard Munch and part Disney.

Making the jump from the Brothers Grimm to Hans Christian Andersen, you would think the next subject would be a bit more cheery, but we forget just how bleak the old fairy talkes were, and ‘The Little Match Girl’ is certainly no exception. A short story about the dreams and hopes of a poor, dying girl, it was published in 1845 and has been adapted countless times in the ensuing decades, from movies and games, to anime and manga.

It’s hard to find fault with the interpretation of the tale on the coin. The shivering child warmed by the last of her matches is the only coloured part of the reverse face, indeed the whole coin. Behind her with his arm on her shoulder is the patient figure of death, waiting for the last embers of the girls life to fade before reaping her soul. Just the kind of happy tale we need after five months of pandemic… 😉

The obverse is a common one for the series, with a ‘Sadly Ever After’ sign pointing the way to a forest of silhouetted trees. The shield of Palau sits in a small circular area at the centre. Packaging is quite superb. A wooden book complete with a clever opening mechanism and etched decoration is amongst the best we’ve seen for some time, both inventive and perfectly designed for the theme. A Certificate of Authenticity is enclosed, of course. With a maximum mintage of 500 pieces, this is another great addition to Powercoins repertoire, and a credit to the production values of CIT and BH Mayer’s Smartminting technology. Available to order now, it should ship around the end of October


On a freezing New Year’s Eve a poor young girl, shivering and barefoot, tries to sell matches in the street. Afraid to go home because her stepfather will beat her for failing to sell any matches, she huddles in the angle between two houses and lights matches to warm herself.

In the flame of the matches she sees a series of comforting visions: a warm stove, a holiday feast, a happy family, and a Christmas tree. In the sky she sees a shooting star, which her late grandmother had told her means someone is on their way to Heaven. In the flame of the next match she sees her grandmother, the only person to have treated her with love and kindness. To keep the vision of her grandmother alive as long as possible, the girl lights the entire bundle of matches.

When the matches are gone the girl dies, and her grandmother carries her soul to Heaven. The next morning, passers-by find the girl frozen, and express pity. They do not know about the wonderful visions she had seen, or how happy she is with her grandmother in heaven.

(Source: Wikipedia)

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief, smartminting, colour
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes