LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD is one of the most popular children’s fairy tales, and now it is the subject of a 20-euro 2016 commemorative coin from Germany.
The 20-euro Little Red Riding Hood German silver coin honors the centuries-old tale, which tells the story of a red-caped young girl who encounters a hungry wolf in the woods. The story has several interpretations, some more Freudian than others, but it suffices to warn young people about trusting strangers. The tale has alternate endings, including one in which Red is completely devoured by the wolf and another in which a woodsman rescues the young girl from her encounter with the conniving Canus lupis.
The 2016 German 20-euro Little Red Riding Hood commemorative coin attributes the world-famous story to the legendary Brothers Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm. While the two men, born in the 1780s, would live on as household or schoolhouse names, they are not the original authors of many of the iconic stories widely credited to them. Rather, they memorialized more than 150 stories, many taken from oral tradition, in a volume entitled Children’s and Household Tales (1812). Among the tales in that volume is “Little Red Riding Hood”, a story originally penned by French author Charles Perrault in 1697 as “Le Petit Chaperon Rouge“.
The German 20-euro Little Red Riding Hood commemorative coin pays homage to the fairy tale as it is titled in German: “Rotkäppchen”. The 2016 sterling silver coin is struck in 92.5-percent pure silver and offered in Uncirculated and Proof finishes. The Little Red Riding Hood 20-euro coin is the fifth of six pieces in Germany’s Grimm’s Fairy Tales commemorative coin series, which kicked off in 2012 with a 10 Euro commemorative coin celebrating the bicentennial of the Grimm Fairy Tale series.
The Little Red Riding Hood coin represents Germany’s first 20-euro silver commemorative coin. Moving the series from the 10-euro coin up to a 20-euro piece allows the German Mint to sell Uncirculated specimens to the public at face value – something less economically feasible if the silver bullion-based coin series continued as 10-euro coins.
A stylized version of Germany’s Bundesadler Federal Eagle anchors the obverse of the 20-euro Little Red Riding Hood silver commemorative coin. Surrounding the eagle are the words BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND (translated in English to “Federal Republic of Germany”) along the rim across the top half of the coin. At the five o’clock position is the inscription 20 EURO indicating the coin’s denomination and near the seven o’clock portion of the rim is the coin’s year of issue, 2016.
Two sets of three stars flank the coin’s date, and six more stars are seen along the rim to the right of the coin’s denomination. A total of 12 stars are seen on the obverse, which represent the 12 stars of the European Union. Between the group of six stars and the right side of the eagle are the words SILBER 925, which describe the fineness of the coin’s silver content, and on the left side of the eagle is the “A” mintmark identifying the Berlin branch of the Deutsche Bundesbank, or German Federal Bank (the German Mint).
The reverse of the commemorative 20-euro German coin creatively depicts the scene from the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood” in which the young girl encounters the hungry wolf along the wooded path between her home and her grandmother’s cottage. The girl is seen standing with a round basket in her right hand, appearing rather surprised by the presence of the smiling wolf sitting amicably before her.
The path on which the girl and the wolf encounter each other curves symmetrically from the foreground to the background, ending at the doors of the two quaint homes, standing opposite each other at the three o’clock and nine o’clock positions near the rim. Between the two homes and overshadowing the girl and the wolf are several tall trees whose willowy branches eerily reach for the center rim, where the inscription ROTKÄPPCHEN, or “Little Red Cap,” is located.
At the tops of the central branches, just below the fairy tale’s title, are the initials “EG” of Elena Gerber, who designed both the obverse and the reverse of the coin. Below the girl and the wolf are the words GRIMMS MÄRCHEN, which translate to “Grimm’s Fairy Tale.”
|Year Of Issue:
|Uncirculated: 800,000; Proof: 175,000
|92.5% Silver, 7.5% Copper
|Inscribed: UND LAUF NICHT VOM WEG AB (“Do Not Run Off The Path”)