While specialising more in drawing from the ancient world for inspiration, Numiartis have issued some excellent coins in other genres as well, with the Notre Dame, and ‘So Art’ puzzle coins standing out. Their latest is all new, and the first in the three-ounce silver, ‘Amazing Animals’ series. We love a nature coin here, and they’ve been appearing in fewer numbers over the last few years, especially outside the bullion market, so it’s good to see the expertise garnered elsewhere applied to the animal world.
The series is off to a fine start on the evidence of these images. The basic design is splendid, instantly recognisable as a chameleon, complete with its epic tongue and prehensile tail. Rather than have a clean background field, there’s a pretty, layered mass of foliage. One large leaf in the foreground has a grasshopper resting upon it. You can guess where the chameleon’s tongue is headed…
While colour can be a divisive addition to many coins, we don’t think anyone will complain here. The holographic enamel application allows the depicted chameleon to successfully reproduce the changing hues that typify the animal in reality, it gave its name to a whole form of camouflage – chameleonic. You can see it working in the video, and because of the way it’s applied, each one will be subtly different. The entire coin has a humorous tone, right down to the font used and its placement.
The obverse has a neat, spiral texture that apes the almost as famous curled tail of this unique creature. The effigy of Queen Elizabeth II is there, but the inscriptions are relatively unobtrusive, including the unusual $7 NZD denomination. Also unusual is the mintage – 421. A terrific first entrant in this new series, our favourite Numiartis issue for ages, and one we can imagine maintaining this level, given the subject. After all, there’s little more visually spectacular than the animal world. We haven’t seen packaging yet, but it will come boxed with a C.O.A., and it should ship from late February. Available to order now.