Perth based coin producer Treasures of Oz, have announced the second of three coins in their Snowflake Bears trilogy. Standing out for the use of filigree work in a window in the coin, quite a rare process for numismatics, the series are struck in a troy ounce of fine (0.999) silver and have selective colouring on the reverse face. The circular aperture, which looks to be around 15mm in diameter, contains a fine filigree representation of a snowflake, as used on the Polar Bear coin which you can see lower down the page.

For those unaware of the filigree technique it involves the laying of twisted threads of metal to form patterns and images. Treasures of Oz were the first to use it in a coin with the debut of their first Filigree Lunar coin back in 2010 celebrating the 2011 Year of the Rabbit, and to date have been the only producer to make good use of the technique. Filigree is an ancient skill in the jewellery trade however, going back literally millenia. It’s an unusual and innovative insert to put in a coin window instead of the usual amber, agate or glass. Difference is good.

The coin is up for pre-order on the Treasures of Oz site now for $130.00 AUD and will ship at the end of February. The last coin in the series will feature the Giant Panda and will launch later this year. The previous coin is still available, and while that coin had a 1,500 mintage, this one is limited to just 500 pieces. They all come in a coloured shipper and a nice snapper coin box within which is enclosed the Certificate of Authenticity.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Tokelau’s ‘Snowflake Bears’ coin series, captures the beauty and playful nature of three of the world’s most distinctive bears in their natural habitats; the Polar Bear, Brown Bear and the Giant Panda.

Following the release last year of the Polar Bear, the Brown Bear will be released in February 2016 and will be followed by the Giant Panda later in the year.

Each coin features a beautiful fine silver filigree ‘snowflake’ incorporated into the coin. The filigree inserts are hand-wove in intricate detail making each coin unique. This limited edition series is denominated in New Zealand dollars as legal tender of Tokelau. The effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth features on the obverse of each coin together with a ‘Taluma’, the national symbol of Tokelau.

BROWN BEAR

The Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) is a large bear whose principal range includes Russia, India, China, Canada and the United States (mostly Alaska), Scandinavia and Romania. It is recognized as a national and state animal in many European Countries and is the most widely distributed of all bears. It is the largest land-based predator on earth. There are many subspecies of brown bears – some say as many as 90, while DNA analyses has identified as few as five clades.

Adult male bears are particularly aggressive, and mostly solitary, forming social hierarchies based on age and size. They are one of the most omnivorous animals in the world and have been recorded as consuming the greatest variety of foods of any bear.

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$1 NEW ZEALAND 0.999 SILVER 31.1 g 38.60 mm PROOF 500 YES / YES
TREASURES OF OZ