2012 London Charles Dickens Silver Coin

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The growing interest in the acquisition and collection of precious metal bullion has gone hand in hand with the ever-expanding horizons of the numismatic hobby. While the practice of collecting coins originally veered towards the collection of rare and one-of-a-kind examples of coinage, or coins that otherwise possess some type of historical value, today, numismatic activities have also begun to hybridize itself into a perfect medium for both collection and investment. While bullion investment usually veers more towards the accumulation of sizable amounts of precious metals for the purposes of economical surety in times of uncertainty, bullion, being perfect mediums of artistic improvement, has become the medium which has significantly increased the interest in numismatics. Collectible bullion coins usually carry themes or depictions that commemorate a person or an historic event, or that is otherwise memorable or unique. In this regard, the Royal Mint has released distinctly unique collectible memorial coin for one of the most well-loved authors of the English language – Charles Dickens.

An Apt Memorial

To celebrate the 200th birthday of the famous writer and former journalist Charles Dickens, the Royal Mint of England released a set of two silver bullion coins to honour the great author’s contribution not only to literature, but the stalwart fight against oppression and poverty as brought about my unjust social hierarchical structures. Himself born in poverty and reared having experienced the horrors of a workhouse and plagued with debt, he eventually became a well-respected and admired gentleman writer known for his highly descriptive, prosaic, and moving books, all of which cover the spectrum of the goodness and darkness of human nature, and the suffering of the working-class in comparison to the haughtiness and cruelty of the upper-classes[1]. A stalwart defender of the simple man ‘til the end of his days, Dickens was for the Victorians what Alexandre Dumas was for the pre-Revolutionary readers.

To honour the great author’s contribution to English literature and the English perception, the Royal Mint has especially design the 2012 Charles Dickens silver coin. Designed by artist Matthew Dent, with the iconic image of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley, this one-of-a-kind coin combines the iconic aesthetics of the Victorian Era made all the more engaging due to a modern twist. The reverse design of the coin features a highly original take on the now iconic profile of Charles Dickens taken during his American tour, at the height of his creative powers. Incorporating the distinct bearded profile of the man, it is made up of the very titles of all of his novels all combined to create the shape of Dickens’ profile – a more than apt tribute to the lively and all-too-human characters that have been given life through the genius of his mind and the fierce fervor of his pen. Set against a mirror finished proof silver background it is bordered by a gold plated edging with the inscriptions ‘1812 CHARLES DICKENS 1870’ to commemorate the dates of his birth and passing[2].

The obverse side of the coin features the now standard effigy of Queen Elizabeth II created by Ian Rank-Broadley, with the legends ELIZABETH II D. G. REG. FID. DEF. (Elizabeth II Dei Gratia Regina Fides Defensor – Elizabeth II by the Grace of God Queen Defender of the Faith). The date of mintage (2012) and the coin’s face value of two pounds is also inscribed on the obverse. The unique gold-plated border also bears an inscription on the edge, a quotation from one of Dickens’s most loved novels, David Copperfield. The edge inscription reads ‘Something will turn up’, a line said by the endearing Mr. Micawber. Made fully from .925 fine sterling silver, the coin’s border is plated in fine gold. The proof version weighs a total of 12 grams, and measures 28.40 mm and is limited in production to only 5, 500 coins.

A piedfort version specifically made for collectors is also available. Boasting the same designs found on the silver proof version, this heavier silver coin is also made from .945 fine sterling silver, with the borders and edging plated in fine gold contrasted by a perfect mirror-finish. Weighing a total of 24 grams, with the same measurements as the proof, only a total of 2, 000 coins are available for purchase[3]. A more than apt tribute to Dickens’s greatness, these collectible silver coins are bound to be an excellent addition to a large or still growing coin collection, or an integral addition to one’s investments.

2012 London Charles Dickens Silver Coin - References:

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Dickens" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Dickens
[2] http://www.royalmint.com/shop/the_2012_uk_2_pound_charles_dickens_silver_proof_coin?tab=specification#productdetails
[3] http://www.royalmint.com/shop/the_2012_uk_2_pound_charles_dickens_silver_piedfort_coin?tab=specification#productdetails

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