Bitemarks is back with the best crocodilian we’ve yet seen on a commemorative coin

The second of Numiscollects’ innovative Bitemarks silver coins has now debuted and to put it simply, we think it’s the best representation of a member of the crocodilain order we’ve yet seen on a coin. There have been many alligator and crocodile coins released over the last few years, but the shape of this animal doesn’t lend itself well to fitting in the limited canvas of a coin. Our previous favourite was probably the excellent rendition by artist Elise Martinson for the rectangular coin series, Australian Apex Predators, but that was a coloured image, so not one pushing actual numismatic boundaries.

Last year Numiscollect launched the Bitemarks Shark coin, one with a severe kink and a set of teethmarks on it that both helped lend the impression it’d been bitten by a shark. It was clever and the image of the shark was a good one. The alligator chosen this year eschews the kink, but has the perfect ultra high-relief image of this incredibly powerful apex predator on it – one that captures the way it hunts by ambush methods. There are even signs that depth-of-field has been subtley incorporated into the strike to help draw attention to the animals eyes in the foreground. We’re less keen on font and size of the inscription, but it doesn’t detract from what is a brilliant example of an animal coin.

The obverse has had some nice customisation done to it. Incorporating the required shield emblem of Palau, the pattern of teethmarks in the shape of an alligators jawline is a great touch. Even though it’s the least important of the two coin faces, Numiscollect have clearly expended effort to enhance it. The coin will come boxed and with a certificate of authenticity. Perhaps one of the NZ Mints superb acrylic frames would enhance the presentation more?

Struck in an ounce of fine silver, this SmartMinted coin has a mintage capped at 999 pieces. We’ve yet to see a price, but the first coin wasn’t cheap at around €200/$200, brought about by the difficult strike. That seems to be the only potential downside however, as we think it’s one of the best animal coins we’ve seen to date, even allowing for a personal interest in these creatures. We’d love to see a larger version of this in a display frame, perhaps 5oz or more. The coin should ship from May 2018.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $5 Palau
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIAMETER 38.61 mm
FINISH Proof
MODIFICATIONS HR Smartminting, Bitemark deformation
MINTAGE 999
BOX / COA Yes / Yes
NUMISCOLLECT