Bullion round-up 15: Batman, birds, dragons, scientists, monkeys, and a Slavic sea spirit, Does it get more varied than that!

Part two is here, although we called it round-up 15 for clarity, and there’s another varied selection from around the world. The Komodo Dragon literally just came out, and barely scraped in, but it’s a great design, especially in antiqued form. A couple of Perth Mint show specials using the pretty 2023 Kookaburra are here, and there’s a very rare Serbian bullion coin as well.

The Caribbean series continues, Batman is her again, including a very unusual batarang-shaped offering, and we’ve bent our rule of completely avoiding the aftermarket modded bullion coin market, with a look at the four Rusalka variants from the Mint of GdaƄsk. It was their coin originally, so we don’t consider them aftermarket.

No there are the new Pac-Man maze coins from APMEX, but we put them in our copious compilation of videogame coins a few days ago, and Pobjoy Mint’s new Tutankhamun bullion coin came in just a little late for inclusion, but we’ll have a Quicklook at that tomorrow, or Friday. Have a look at these, and then go spend some money!

2022 KOMODO DRAGON (Scottsdale Mint)

An all-new series from Scottsdale Mint headlines today’s selection. The US mint has a fine reputation for varied design, but it’s probably their many nature series that are the most popular. The latest debut features the Komodo Dragon, a reptilian ambush hunter that lives in the Indonesian Islands, where it is now protected by law. Scottsdale comically describes it as ‘majestic’, but it’s fair to say it’s more of a thug, and deserves its reputation for efficient brutality, even down to hunting the occasional tourist…

A nice looking coin, in our view, especially in antiqued form, although we suspect the traditional stacker will prefer the standard version. There’s also a boxed and certified gold version with a tiny 100 mintage. Unusually for Scottsdale Mint, this one is issued for Tokelau. Available to order now, it should ship later this month. A great debut and an interesting subject. We hope this one keeps going.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2 (Tokelau) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 39.0 mm Prooflike 15,000 NO / NO
$2 (Tokelau) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 39.0 mm Antique 3,000 NO / NO
$10 (Tokelau) 0.9999 gold 31.1 g 32.0 mm Proof 100 YES / YES

2023 BATARANG (New Zealand Mint)

It wouldn’t be a bullion round-up without a pop-culture coin, and we’ve a few Batman themed offerings this time. The quirkiest of them all is this Batarang-shaped one-ounce coin. It’s fairly simple in design, but that’s okay – it fits the subject well. A small area on the obverse, with the Samoan emblem on it, rounds out the design. Very clean, and to the point.

A black coloured one comes in a box with a COA, and at a higher price. Something for the kids to throw at each other…

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 (Samoa) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 13.93 x 40.0 mm BU 20,000 NO / NO
$5 (Samoa) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 13.93 x 40.0 mm BU, colour 5,000 YES / YES

2023 CARIBBEAN GREEN MONKEY (APMEX)

The fourth in the Caribbean series from APMEX, and the first to feature a primate, it keeps the neat overlaid border for the inscriptions, with the Green Monkey passing in front of it, and the background foliage behind. Quite a nice design, to be honest, and the obverse, depicting the national emblem of Barbados, is a good companion.

Like the earlier issues, this is available in gold and silver, both an ounce in weight. The gold has an attractive mintage of just 100 pieces.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$1 (Barbados) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 38.6 mm B / UNC 7,000 NO / NO
$1 (Barbados) 0.999 gold 31.1 g 32.0 mm B / UNC 100 NO / NO

2023 TESLA SECRET (Serbian Bank)

The sixth coin in the Republic of Serbia series commemorating the life and work of Nikola Tesla, this one doesn’t stray too far from the previous five. The reverse face of these coins is actually the common one to the series, depicting a decent portrait of the legendary inventor. Each obverse looks at a facet of his work, this time based around Tesla’s comments that “to know the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”

Not the most adventurous series, the changing obverse is simplistic and quite dull. The reverse portrait is excellent, but it’s unchanging. A series worthy of attention for its rarity, as Serbian bullion coins are hardly common, and its subject, but not for its aesthetic merit.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
100 Dinar (Serbia) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 40.25 mm B / UNC 9,711 NO / NO

2023 ANDA SHOW KOOKABURRA (Perth Mint)

Despite being swamped in a sea of alternatives, the core ranges of the Perth Mint continue to be popular. It’s hardly surprising, as the mint has definitely stepped up a gear with the designs over the last couple of years. The Kookaburra is no exception, and we think the 2023 coin is superb. The mint also has a history of releasing limited privy mark versions for the various big coin shows, and has promised four coloured privy mark coins to mark ANDA Money Expo events in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

The Melbourne one is now available, and has a small coloured privy depicting a helmeted honeyeater. The rest of the coin is uncoloured. It comes mounted in a themed blistercard. A nice little alternative to the regular coin.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$1 AUD (Australia) 0.9999 silver 31.1 g 40.9 mm B / UNC, colour 2,000 YES / YES

2023 WMF SHOW KOOKABURRA (Perth Mint)

Just like the ANDA Show coin, this is a coloured version of the Kookaburra bullion coin, but in this case, not as a privy mark, but with a fully coloured reverse. Can’t argue with the colouring job, it looks really good, and the presentation is first-class. It does come with a numismatic price tag, however, and we did think hard before including it here, but the ANDA coin is here, so why not?

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$1 AUD (Australia) 0.9999 silver 31.1 g 40.9 mm B / UNC, colour 2,000 YES / YES

2023 BATMAN (APMEX)

There’s no shortage of superhero bullion coins, with the Perth Mint producing a Marvel series through LPM, and the New Zealand Mint having a DC Comics range, but confusingly, it seems APMEX have their own exclusive offering in the genre. Another Batman coin, but this time issued for Samoa, rather than Niue, we understand this is also a NZ Mint production, but we’ve not had that confirmed.

It’s a good design, depicting a Silver Age comic strip Batman in a classic pose. There’s a fully coloured version that comes in a slab similar to those used by NGC, and what APMEX call a TEP. The gold variant comes in a tin, with a Certificate of Authenticity, and a mintage of just 150 pieces. A decent release, although the whole pop-culture media market is getting increasingly difficult to follow.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 (Samoa) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 39.0 mm B / UNC 15,000 NO / NO
$5 (Samoa) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 39.0 mm B / UNC, colour 2,500 NO / SLAB
$25 (Samoa) 0.999 gold 31.1 g 32.0 mm B / UNC 150 NO / NO

2023 SLAVIC BESTIARY: RUSALKA SPECIALS (Mint of Gdansk)

ROSE GILDEDOBVERSE
GILDEDOBVERSE

We normally run a mile when we see aftermarket modified bullion coins, as the whole genre is unregulated, and anyone and their dog can knock them up. It doesn’t help that most are dreadful. Fortunately, that’s not the case here, and as these are issued by the Mint of Gdansk, who also issued the original bullion coin, we’re going to cover them.

Their first Slavic Bestiary coin, Rusalka, was a very pretty coin on both faces, itself a version of an earlier numismatic, so it has a head start with the mods. The icing on the cake, however, is that they’re actually pretty well realised mods. The black ruthenium and gilded version looks excellent, as does the rose gold variant. The Space Blue and Space Green (likely the superb Germania Mint process) will no doubt be well turned out. Only 200 of each variant will be produced, and they carry a hefty premium, but it’s an elegant process, and the presentation is good.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
1000 CFA (Cameroon) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 38.61 mm Ruthenium/Gold 200 YES / YES
1000 CFA (Cameroon) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 38.61 mm Space/Rose Gold 200 YES / YES
1000 CFA (Cameroon) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 38.61 mm Space Blue 200 YES / YES
1000 CFA (Cameroon) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 38.61 mm Space Green 200 YES / YES
SPACE BLUEOBVERSE
SPACE GREENOBVERSE