Without any fanfare, the Auckland based New Zealand Mint has launched the third in its series of wildlife coins called ‘Endangered Species’. Following on from the Venerable Collared Lizard and the fairly recent Black Rhino, this coin continues in the style of the Rhino coin, being cleanly struck and with a reflection of the animal in water. The VC Lizard coin differed in being partly coloured, but it appears the series is moving away from that style; a good decision in our view. Worth noting is that the VC Lizard coin appeared in September 2013 and the Rhino in May 2014. With this third coin having its debut in January, could the mint be moving to a two-per-year release schedule?
While Tiger coins aren’t rare, clean struck ones don’t often appear and this has a fine design. The Rhino coin was, like the majority of NZ Mint coins for some reason, far more attractive in the hand than in these images, and we’d expect the same here. The pose is good, the animal anatomically excellent, and it sits within a superb background. Limited to just 2,000 pieces and packaged in a clever box, there’s a lot to like here.
As usual, there’s sod all donated to help the animals in question, an extremely poor omission in our view, but it’s not fair to single out the NZ Mint when many others releasing similar coins like CIT, Perth, and AgAuNEWS favourite, the Mint of Poland, are equally guilty. A sad state of affairs we’d like to see improve during 2015, and one we’re going to push for ourself.
Available to order now for around $85 USD (£56, €72), our initial opinion is that it’s one to look out for. Hopefully we can get a sample to photograph.
The Bengal Tiger, Panthera tigris tigris, is the largest member of the cat family, and the most numerous subspecies across the Asian continent. Appearing on flags, coats of arms, and as mascots for sporting teams around the globe, the Bengal Tiger is also the National Animal of both Bangladesh and India.
Over the past 100 years, the global population of Bengal Tigers in the wild has decreased across Asia, and is estimated to number fewer than 2,500 individuals. The key reasons for this population decline are poaching and hunting, along with the destruction of forests that make up the tiger’s habitat. This has led to it being classified as Endangered by the IUCN in 2010.
Tigers live alone and aggressively scent-mark large territories in order to keep their rivals away. They are powerful nocturnal hunters that can weigh up to 227 kg (500 lb), and travel great distances in order to find buffalo, deer, and other prey. A tiger’s most recognisable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes set against its yellow-orange fur. No two animals have the same pattern. Using this camouflage, a tiger will lie in wait and creep close enough to attack its prey with one fatal pounce. Despite this fearsome reputation, most tigers avoid humans.
REVERSE: This relief engraved coin shows and endangered Bengal Tiger snarling as it crosses a stream, stepping from rock to rock. The scene is reflected in the finely engraved water.
OBVERSE: This features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
PACKAGING: The Endangered Species, Bengal Tiger 1 oz Silver coin comes packaged inside a wooden crate coin case and printed outer packaging.