Most famous mouse in the world appears on new series of French coins

Disney’s Mickey Mouse honored on gold and silver issues
By , Coin World
Published : 10/24/16
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Walt Disney’s character Mickey Mouse is the latest subject of the Monnaie de Paris’ Youth series of collector coins.

Walt Disney was born Dec. 5, 1901, in Chicago. In 1923 he created with his brother Roy an animation studio named Disney Brothers Studio, which became Walt Disney Productions in 1928, the same year that Mickey Mouse was “born.”

Disney and his long-time friend Ub Iwerks created the character Mortimer Mouse, who the year after became the well-known character Mickey, in “Steamboat Willie,” a black-and-white animated short.

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In 1955 one of the first theme parks in the world, Disneyland, opened in California. This project was born after many years of development and design. Walt Disney died in 1966, and the company was led by Roy Disney until 1971.

The Monnaie de Paris’ Mickey Mouse series of coins features two silver issues and three gold coins. 

Designs across series

The smaller silver issue, a Proof .900 fine €10 coin, depicts a pair of designs celebrating the early image of the mouse and a modern interpretation.

According to the Mint, the obverse shows the historic design from 1928. The mouse’s body and clothing are colorized by handmade deposits of black, red and yellow resins. In the center of the coin in the background, an incused outline of Mickey’s head, which is highly polished, helps to highlight the central character. The inscription “Mickey through the ages” in French reflects the goal of the commemorative coin program, showing the emblem of Disney across the years.

The reverse carries Mickey’s head as we know it today, and this design is used as a sort of template for all the reverse images in the series, the denomination and background pattern changing for each subsequent coin. 

The obverse of the Proof .950 fine silver €50 coin shows the evolution of Disney mouse from 1928 to the present, through five renderings. Hand-deposited resin including red and yellow pigments magnify three representations of the character, while the two older versions are depicted in “black and white,” using only the black resin deposits. 

Again, in the center of the coin, an incused polished outline of Mickey’s head highlights the characters.

A different classic interpretation of Mickey graces the obverse of the Proof .920 fine gold €50 coin. This image comes from the short film named “Mickey’s Nightmare” in 1932, and is closer to today’s version of Mickey than to the Steamboat Willie version.

The obverse of the Proof .999 fine gold €200 depicts the Steamboat Willie image of Mickey that launched the long mythical career for the mischievous mouse. 

The highest-denomination issue in the Mickey Mouse program is a Proof .999 fine gold €500 coin, which depicts the image of Mickey Mouse from the 1928 short film “Plane Crazy.”

Specifications and pricing

Though the series is part of a program geared toward young collectors, the pricing (affected by Disney licensing) will likely put most if not all of the coins out of reach of purchase by young collectors. 

The €10 coin weighs 22.2 grams and measures 37 millimeters in diameter. It has a mintage limit of 3,000 pieces and retails for €74. 

The Proof .950 fine silver €50 coin weighs 163.8 grams and measures 50 millimeters in diameter. The coin has a mintage limit of 500 pieces and retails for €508. 

The Proof .920 fine gold €50 coin weighs 8.45 grams and measures 22 millimeters in diameter. It has a mintage limit of 1,000 pieces and retails for €536. 

The Proof .999 fine gold €200 coin weighs 31.104 grams and measures 37 millimeters in diameter. It has a mintage limit of 500 pieces and retails for €2,130.

The Proof .999 fine gold €500 coin weighs 155.5 grams and measures 50 millimeters in diameter. It has a mintage limit of 99 pieces and retails for €10,658.

To order the Mickey Mouse coins, visit the Monnaie de Paris website

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