MDM wraps up its distinctive ‘Underwater World’ series on a high with a super Octopus issue

Sadly, Underwater World, German producer MDM’s striking sealife series of silver coins, is coming to an end. It;s going out kicking and screaming, however, with a superb final issue – the seventh in a series that began in 2018. What better creature to help with the kicking than one with eight legs?

Three-ounces in weight, formed in 0.999 silver, these have a deep central strike which is filled with a translucent blue enamel to represent water. A simple idea, but one that works perfectly. There have been some fine designs over the last couple of years, particularly the Sea Turtle one, and you can see more of them all in our comprehensive COIN SERIES PROFILE to the range.

This last issue features the Octopus. Star of numerous stories, from Jules Verne to Spongebob Squarepants, the octopus is one of the more visually striking sea creatures, but even that pales into insignificance when its intelligence and inventiveness are considered. Truly one of the most fascinating animals around today, it’s depiction on this coin is perfect. There’s a well considered layering of limbs, creating depth, and an interaction with the coins border that lifts it above being just a picture of an octopus. The enamel enhances the look immensely and there are little nautical touches everywhere on both faces.

A mintage of 999 pieces, decent, if unimaginative packaging, and a price around the €250 mark, this has turned into one of the best nature-themed coin series we’ve seen for ages. Issued for Barbados, so having a good-looking obverse as well, these come highly recommended. It will be a shame to see the series end. Available to order now.

SMART & LEGGY

The octopus is a soft-bodied, eight-limbed mollusc of the order Octopoda . Around 300 species are recognised, and the order is grouped within the class Cephalopoda with squids, cuttlefish, and nautiloids. Like other cephalopods, the octopus is bilaterally symmetric with two eyes and a beak, with its mouth at the centre point of the eight limbs. The soft body can rapidly alter its shape, enabling octopuses to squeeze through small gaps. They trail their eight appendages behind them as they swim. The siphon is used both for respiration and for locomotion, by expelling a jet of water. Octopuses have a complex nervous system and excellent sight, and are among the most intelligent and behaviourally diverse of all invertebrates.

Octopuses inhabit various regions of the ocean, including coral reefs, pelagic waters, and the seabed; some live in the intertidal zone and others at abyssal depths. Most species grow quickly, mature early, and are short-lived. In most species, the male uses a specially adapted arm to deliver a bundle of sperm directly into the female’s mantle cavity, after which he becomes senescent and dies, while the female deposits fertilised eggs in a den and cares for them until they hatch, after which she also dies.

Strategies to defend themselves against predators include the expulsion of ink, the use of camouflage and threat displays, the ability to jet quickly through the water and hide, and even deceit. All octopuses are venomous, but only the blue-ringed octopuses are known to be deadly to humans.

Octopuses appear in mythology as sea monsters like the Kraken of Norway and the Akkorokamui of the Ainu, and probably the Gorgon of ancient Greece. Octopuses appear in Japanese erotic art, shunga. They are eaten and considered a delicacy by humans in many parts of the world, especially the Mediterranean and the Asian seas. (Wikipedia)

Bold Precious Metals
SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $5 Barbados
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 93.3 grams
DIMENSIONS 50.0 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, Blue enamel
MINTAGE 999
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
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