'Christmas Island' nation issues Christmas-themed coins

Kiribati works with German firm to celebrate holidays, give Rudolph’s nose a glow
By , Coin World
Published : 12/05/14
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The issuer of three new Christmas coins is, appropriately enough, a tiny nation that includes an island sometimes known as Christmas Island.

The island nation Republic of Kiribati includes an island called Kiritimati, whose name is from the English word “Christmas," and pronounced very similarly, although respelled in the style of the native Kiribati language in which the -ti is pronounced as an s.

The three new coins highlight popular themes for Christmas and the winter season.

Proof .925 fine silver $5 coins showcase Santa’s star reindeer, Rudolph, or the Three Kings of Orient presenting gifts to the newborn Christ child. 

The third coin, a Proof .925 fine silver $20, shows a Christmas star.

Two of the coins are highlighted with different technology. Rudolph’s red nose glows, thanks to a red ruby, which stands out against his golden-colored coat. 

The Christmas Star coin is highlighted by the star-shaped cutout from the coin, which is a major portion of the reverse design, a blazing star above an idyllic winter village scene. Gold color and diamond dust accent the wintry scene.

The obverse of each coin carries the coat of arms of Kiribati, the nation’s names (Kiribati and Christmas Islands) and the 2014 year date. 

Both $5 coins weigh 20 grams, measure 38.61 millimeters in diameter and have mintage limits of 5,000 pieces.

The $20 Christmas Star coin weighs 62.2 grams, measures 55 millimeters in diameter and is limited to a mintage of 999 pieces.

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