Scottsdale Mint issued a 1-ounce .999 fine silver dollar for Fiji, depicting Santa Claus drinking Coca-Cola. The image is taken from the popular advertising campaign of the Global giant, Coca-Cola that was run since the 1920s. The reverse side of the coin depicts the Fijian coat of arms with snow in the background. The coins have a mintage limit of 25,000 pieces and each one can be purchased for $39.99. They come enclosed in a branded assay card with a unique serial number. It also has a Certi-Lock security and authentication packaging which is patented by Scottsdale Mint.
Artist Fred Mizen had designed a similar ad in 1930 where Santa Claus is drinking Coke near a soda counter and children are staring at him. Before 1931, Santa was shown as a tall lanky man and sometimes like a scary elf. He has also been shown wearing a bishop’s robe and a Norse huntsman’s animal skin. In 1862, Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast depicted Santa Claus as an elf who supported the Union. These were featured in Harper’s Weekly and he kept changing the colour of Santa’s coat from tan to red for 30 years.
In the 1920s, Coca-Cola used the strict looking Santa for their Christmas ads. However, Fred Mizen created the fun-loving Santa we all know today in the 1930s. These print ads were featured on The Saturday Evening Post in December.
Illustrator Haddon Sundblom was asked to develop a more realistic version of Santa, eating, drinking Coca-Cola, delivering gifts etc. He created designs till 1964, many of which are still used today on Christmas ads for Coca-Cola. One of his original works is being featured on the new Fijian coin as well.
Image Courtesy: Scottsdale Mint