Disney Silver Coins
Making a lighthearted change from the usual serious silver rounds – yet still retaining the same .999 millesimal fineness as their less amusing counterparts, and the same high production values – Disney silver rounds (frequently and incorrectly called “Disney silver coins”, since they have no monetary face value and are not struck by the United States Mint) feature the familiar radar-eared rodent and his assorted friends. This series is very popular and well-received.
Types of Disney Silver Round Coins Available
There is no overall catalog of all the Disney silver rounds which have been issued. The rounds in circulation exist in a huge range of sizes, from fractional silver rounds of 1/20 ounce to standard-sized rounds of one troy ounce, to large rounds of either five or six troy ounces depending on their year of production. These series have been in production at least since the 1980s, and many of the round releases are in series of irregular length, covering the characters of a specific cartoon or a series of related cartoons.
A proof finish is applied to many of the rounds, with the fields (blank areas which form the background of the round’s imagery) given a deep mirror finish and the images of characters frosted. This makes the designs stand out very strongly.
All of the Disney silver rounds are .999 fine silver, though the earlier rounds usually bear the unusual inscription “One Ounce (or whatever weight the item is) Solid .999 Silver”. Apparently, the Disney executives deemed that those who purchased their rounds would be more likely to understand the word “solid” than “fine” or “pure” – or, indeed, no notation at all, since the description “.999 silver” indicates baldly that the coin is solid silver, making use of the word “solid” redundant. More recent mintage has displayed the more correct “.999 fine silver” instead.
Odd semantics aside, some of the more notable silver round series and individual rounds thus far struck by Disney include:
• The 50th Anniversary of Snow White Silver Round Series. This series of 11 silver rounds was issued in 1987, commemorating the half century that had passed since the release of this famous cartoon. Snow White herself, as well as the seven dwarves – Happy, Sleepy, Grumpy, Bashful, Doc, Dopey, and Sneezy. The remaining four rounds cover the Evil Queen and the Huntsman (on one round), the Witch, and of course Prince Charming. The reverse contains only words, which states
• The Sixty Years with You Mickey Mouse Silver Round Series. These seven coins focus on Walt Disney’s most famous creation, the platter-eared rodent who is perhaps the most iconic of all Disney characters. Mickey Mouse appears on these rounds in a number of different guises: in wizardly attire as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, as a drummer, as a band leader, in formal evening dress, as an astronaut, and waving an American flag. The seventh coin shows Walt Disney himself. All seven of these bullion items were struck in 1988.
• Steamboat Willie Silver Rounds. Mickey’s violent, sadistic early incarnation as Steamboat Willie also appears on two rounds struck in 1988 as well. These are not strictly part of the series noted above, but are definitely a continuation of the theme. The first round features Steamboat Willie alone, the second is a time traveling piece with Willie and Mickey greeting one another.
• Additional silver rounds featuring reissues of the Mickey Mouse and Snow White series have appeared in recent years, as recently as 2009, in fact, and perhaps in the latest years as well. Donald Duck, Simba the Lion King, Mickey, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, and various other characters have all been struck onto Disney rounds at one time or another. There are even 1/20 ounce romantic Mickey and Minnie rounds showing the flirtatious rodent giving his girlfriend a long bouquet of flowers.
How and Why to Buy Disney Silver Rounds
Despite the popularity of the Disney characters and the good reception of most of the silver rounds, it is extremely difficult to locate these silver bullion products or even any solid information about The Disney site itself is utterly silent on this aspect of their business; Liberty Mint and American Pacific Precious Metals Corp., or AMPAC, which have struck and distributed rounds for Disney in the past, feature sites which are equally innocent of any mention of the series.
A few scattered examples of the rounds are found for sale on APMEX, eBay, and other more obscure sites, generally not in a large selection of sizes or individual rounds. If you are interested in collecting this bullion, you will need to scavenge through the Internet, pouncing on any rare bargains you can find. Do not expect to receive any kind of description of upcoming releases from Disney, either.
As far as value is concerned, Disney silver rounds do not command any numismatic premium over spot despite the limited issue of some rounds and the popularity of whole line. Their one ounce rounds cost around $40 if bought at current silver cost price, for example, even if they are in mint condition and still attached to the elaborate decorative card that each round comes with. Disney silver rounds are a basic bullion investment for hedging against inflation or for resale if the price of silver skyrockets.