The German Federal Republic’s Ministry of Finance and Munze Deutschland have launched their third Christmas-themed coin, which features one of the country’s more well-known symbols and traditions of Christmas. As a Christmas decoration, the Erzgebirge candle arch is one of the most beloved symbols of Erzgebirge folk art and is now also widespread outside of its region of origin. Its name is derived from “floating arch,” which simply describes an arch that floats freely between two walls. Erzgebirge candle arches are traditional Christmas objects decorated with candles, which were occasionally mentioned in churches and in mining contexts from the 18th century onwards. Originally forged from iron, one of the first surviving candle arches was made in the Saxon town of Johanngeorgenstadt in 1740 and most likely for the miners’ celebration of Bergmette on the 24th of December. In addition to two miners and two angels, this historic candle arch also depicts Adam and Eve, before and after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. December 24th also coincides with the celebration of Bergmette, which remembers the first human couple according to the Bible in both the Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches. For generations, candle arches remained part of Christmas celebrations in Saxony’s Ore Mountains, particularly in the Johanngeorgenstadt area. As such, the scenes depicted on many of the candle arches reflected the everyday life of the miners and their families. The Erzgebirge candle arch only became a widely popular Christmas symbol in the early 20th century, many of which were predominantly constructed of metal. However, for many years, candle arches made of light wood have become a favoured preference. Popular variants these days show scenes from the Christian Christmas story as well as scenes of country life as well as urban settings. Today, there is a greater variety of size, wood types, and level of detail. In December 2012, the largest free-standing candle arch in the world was inaugurated in the Johanngeorgenstadt city centre for the 20th Original Johanngeorgenstadt Candle Arch Festival. This giant structure is 25 metres (82 feet) wide and 14.5 metres (47 feet) high with candles and is made of 700 tons of reinforced concrete and 15 tons of stainless steel.
Designed by the artist Reinhard Eiber, the obverse side is based on a traditional wooden candle arch from the early 20th century. Motifs from this home’s living room also depict elements in preparation for Christmas Eve. The emblem of the two miners with the Saxon swords, hammer, and mallet refers to the use of the candle arch with its early origins in mining, and is placed below the arch. The primary design is encircled with commemorative text, which reads ERZGEBIRGISCHER SCHWIBBOGEN (“Erzgebirge Candle Arch”) along two, eight-pointed stars. The reverse side depicts a stylised eagle, which is centred. Above in the shape of an arch are 12, five-pointed stars representing the European Union. The text BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND 2023 and the denomination 25 EURO are placed below the eagle. The G mintmark denoting the Karlsruhe Mint is placed directly below the denomination.
|22 g||30 mm||Brilliant Unc.||
|.999 Silver||22 g||30 mm||Proof||
Available from the 23rd November, the 25-euro Proof edition collector’s coin is supplied in a presentation folder, which can also be given as a Christmas card. The coin’s capsule is specially designed to both protect the collector coin and to be placed on Christmas trees as a decorative ornament. For additional information and to pre-order before its release, please visit the website of Munze Deutschland.