The government and treasury of Ascension Island have released new festive crown coins (6th November), which is just in time for the festive holidays. The classic Christmas time story entitled A Christmas Carol features on the reverse side of these timely crown coins. Written by Victorian author Charles Dickens, the story tells the tale of a miserly man who has lost the spirit of Christmas from his life and how it is reawakened. As Ascension Island is actually mentioned in Charles Dickens’ book Bleak House, it was, therefore, a perfect fit for this year’s issue of the Christmas crown. The new design also marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens, a writer whose works have painted a very vivid insight into the lives of Victorian England in many facets, from the most humble to those of nobility.
A Holiday Classic
One novel that remains especially popular all these years later and is still a great favourite during the festive season is A Christmas Carol. It involves the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly mean-spirited man who doesn’t like the festive holidays and isn’t terribly charitable. He presides over his counting house with his clerk Bob Cratchit, who is over-worked and meagrely paid. On the eve of Christmas, Scrooge is asked for a contribution to a poor house to which Scrooge replies “Bah, Humbug!“ dismissing the whole notion of charity. The same evening while home and warming himself next to the fireplace, Scrooge is visited by his late partner Jacob Marley, who is weighted down with heavy chains and tries to warn Scrooge of his miserly ways. In his dreams, he is visited by three ghosts: Christmas past, present, and future. With each revelation, Scrooge sees the error of his ways and seeks to right his wrongs sooner rather than later. Through one revelation, Scrooge discovers Bob Cratchit has a disabled son Tiny Tim, a courageous boy whose kindness and humility warms Scrooge’s heart. With a new chance to live a kinder life, he begins to look more kindly towards his clerk by sending the local butcher’s fattest goose over to his home as a way of making amends. Relieved to have the chance to change his life, he is overtaken by the Christmas spirit to visit with his nephew Fred Scrooge, who invited his uncle over to Christmas celebrations earlier, only to be coldly dismissed. Scrooge is warmly received and is overcome with emotion from the spirit of Christmas. True to his promise to the ghost of Christmas future, Scrooge honours his promise to embrace Christmas with all his heart.
The coins are produced by the Pobjoy Mint, at their facilities in Surrey, on behalf of the treasury of Ascension. The reverse design is inspired by the classic holiday tale with the central design depicting Ebenezer Scrooge counting his money by candlelight. Surrounding him are three ghosts who visited him that eventful Christmas Eve. The inscription CHRISTMAS is seen along the upper rim above the motif, and the denomination of 1 CROWN is shown below the primary design.
The obverse side includes an effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II, which is an exclusive design of the Pobjoy Mint. The issuing authority and year of issue are shown in the legend surrounding the Queen’s likeness.
|28.2 g||38.6 mm||Brilliant Unc.||
|28.2 g||38.6 mm||Proof||
Each silver Proof strike coin is encased in an acrylic capsule and presented in a custom black box which also includes a certificate of authenticity.
The Brilliant Uncirculated examples are presented in a micro-fibre pouch for protection. For more information about these coins and others issued by the treasury of Ascension, please visit the website of the Pobjoy Mint.