Helvetic Mints Animal Skin series lets you feel a Green Tree Python
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
The idea of the Animal Skin coin series is to show animals which we normally would never have the chance to touch, either because they are too small, too rare, extinct or too dangerous.
Green Tree Pythons are not poisonous, they are constrictors, meaning they use constrictive pressure to dispatch their prey. They are well known to bite when someone or something provokes them. They can become easily agitated and very protective. Green Tree Pythons live in areas where most people will never get a chance to see one up close, New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Cape York Peninsula in Australia are the main locations for this species. Its figure makes the Green Tree Python special! A relatively slim body and a long tail characterize it. As you can see the head is large and clearly defined from the neck with a distinctive large and angular snout. The body is triangular in cross section with a visible spine. The species usually reaches a total length of 150–180 cm, but large females may reach 200 cm! Green Tree Pythons have a particular way of resting in the branches of trees, they loop a coil or two over the branches in a saddle position and place their head in the middle as shown on our design for the coin.
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