Kings of the high-relief coin strike, the Helvetic Mint also have some intriguing ranges of more traditional designs, although in the case of the Animal Skin series, even that is a little out of the ordinary. Debuting back in 2012 with the Blue Iguana, a coin that seemed to generate a lot of interest at the time, the series main feature is to use the strike of the coin to replicate the feel of the skin of the animal in question. The fifth coin to be launched features a snake often the subject of some very iconic images, the Green Tree Python. Reptiles have the advantage of having some heavily textured skin which goes some way to explaining why four of the five coins released to date feature them, the one difference being a Housefly coin which worked surprisingly well. The other coins depicted a crocodile and a tortoise called Lonesome George.
Back to the 2016 release, this one introduces another feature, a lenticular eye that when the coin is moved shows a change in the pupil. It sounds gimmicky, but again works surprisingly well and certainly doesn’t detract from the overall design of the coin, which is both well defined in relief (both the texture and the shape of the pythons head), and in the rich and well applied 5C photorealistic colour. Produced in an ounce of fine silver, the oval shape is maintained, which we think fits the series so well, as well as the mintage of just 700 pieces (the first two coins were set at 1,000). Usually available for around the €100/US$100 mark, we think these are nice and unusual coins for the nature fan, and this one should be available soon.
Roll your mouse over the image to see the eye movement