Sunday, November 6, 2011

Commemorative Coins (50th Anniversary - 1987)

Individual Snow White Silver Coin. Photographed directly under light source.

These handsome Snow White 50th Anniversary medallions were created for Disney in 1987 by the Rarities Mint in Anaheim. The coins were produced in limited numbers and each sold separately. Together, they made up a collector's set of 11 pieces: Snow White, Prince, Queen with Huntsman, Witch, and each of the Seven Dwarfs.

The .999 fine silver rounds were issued in varying editions of 1/2 troy ounce silver, 1 oz. silver, and 5 oz. silver.

Complete Silver Coin Set.


The set was promoted on the back cover of the 1987 summer issue of Disney News magazine (mentioned in previous post). Subscribers to this offer would receive one new proof silver piece per month for eleven months. You'd also receive a free "presentation case" to display the collection in. The total 1987 value was estimated to be $203.50 (USD). The ad also states that the sets were limited to 20,000 worldwide.

Disney News Magazine Back Cover, 1987.


Each coin came in a round acrylic caddy which protected it from direct handling.

1 Troy Ounce Silver Coin. Photos shot while lit from side.


The acrylic caddy would rest within an individual velvet-covered case which had the 50th Anniversary logo printed on the inner lid. While red seemed to be the predominant color, the cases also came in blue, white, gray, brown and black.

Individual Snow White Case.

Individual Cases.


There were variations in the design of the presentation case. The coin arrangement in this one was somewhat different from what was pictured in the ad above. It contained twelve slots for the eleven medallions plus a round Certificate of Authenticity. The 50th anniversary logo was printed on both the red velvet lid and the lid's white velvet underside.

Coin Case.

The lid's red velvet cover and white underside.

The case also came enclosed in a 50th Anniversary protective outer box.

Outer Box.

Another presentation case featured eleven round coin slots and one square one for a COA. The inner lid read "Golden Anniversary Edition" but had no Snow White logo anywhere.

Golden Anniversary Case.


The medallions were also sold in individual sleeves without any sort of velvet case or box whatsoever.

Front and Back Sleeve: Grumpy 1/2 Oz Silver.


Each coin was accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity which listed the date issued, edition size, individual serial number, and the net weight. It's interesting that the edition sizes varied depending on the character and on the net weight of the piece. Officially, each character's 1/2 oz. silver coin was minted in a lot of 20,000. The 1 oz. medallion varied. Snow White's was limited to 10,000, Dopey came in 15,000, and the other Dwarfs 20,000. The gold pieces were minted in smaller sizes across the board.

Rarities Mint started in the basement of some guy's house. When they landed this Disney gig, it was the biggest thing they ever tackled. It may have been more than they could handle.

Dealers complained that the minimum purchase requirement for these coins was exorbitant which led to difficulties for the mint. For example, while there were suppose to be edition sizes of 20,000, the rumor is that many of these coins were either melted down for bullion or sold without the certificates by Rarities Mint because they were unable to sell them all as certified coins. So it's anybody's guess as to how many medallions are actually still out there, but probably less than is stated on the COA.


Snow White's 1/2 troy oz. silver. COA states 1 of 20,000.

1/2 Oz. Silver Sleeve. 

Grumpy's 5 oz. silver COA. No edition size given.


The coins were also issued in fine gold They came in 1/10 troy ounce, 1/4 oz., and 1 oz. gold. All were issued in smaller edition sizes. The 1/10 troy oz. pieces were limited to 5000.

Witch 1/10 troy oz. gold.

1/10th Gold Witch at Cauldron.

Happy 1/10 gold.

The Snow White 1/4 oz. coins were limited to 2500 while others in the series went to 3500.


1/4 Gold Witch at Cauldron.


The 1 oz. coins were limited to just 1000.

Overall, these commemorative coins turned out to be some smart looking pieces, many of which are still readily available today through online resellers and coin dealers.


  1. These are cool collectibles!

    I remember I saw a set of 9 golden coins for Snow White's 70th anniversary. The price was 170$ .

    Here's a link: