CIT@WMF: The end of a legend. Hit Mongolian Wildlife Protection series comes to an finish

One of coin collectors favourites of the last decade, the multi-award-winning Mongolian Wildlife Protection series is coming to an end twelve years and ten issues after its debut. These striking coins are one of the few to employ inset Swarovski crystals without detriment to the finished design, using a pair of them in place of eyes.

An ounce in weight, these 0.999 silver coins now draw on CIT’s smartminting technology to make possible previously impossible levels of relief and detail. This tenth and final coin actually has much in common with the first issue from 2007 called the Gulo Gulo. The Gobi Bear isn’t related to that Wolverine, but there are similarities in their appearance on the coin. There’s little question that the 2019 coin has the superior strike, however.

A beautiful coin and a fitting end to a series that has become increasingly difficult to collect in its entirety over the last few years, as the early issues have appreciated beyond the ability of most collectors to afford. It comes in a custom box with a certificate of authenticity. The last few issues have been more affordable aas the rampant early speculation of previous issues has cooled, so this is one that is well worth adding to your wildlife coin collection.

If gold is your thing, CIT also have one of their numerous 0.5 gram minigold offerings to go alongside the silver. The design on this coin is completely different to the larger silver, of course. It would be ridiculous to expect the silver coins high-relief and high detail to be reproduced on an 11 mm coin of such light weight. The good news is, the change has allowed the use of something more in keeping with the limited canvas. The mintage of the minigold is a generous 15,000 – the silver 2,500. Available to pre-order shortly. If you’d like to see more of this iconic series, check out our Coin Series Profile. Wildlife coin fans will still have the outstanding Evolution of Life series to look forward to.

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THE GOBI BEAR

The Gobi bear, Ursus arctos gobiensis (known in Mongolian as the mazaalai), is a subspecies of the brown bear, Ursus arctos, that is found in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. It is listed as critically endangered by Mongolian Redbook of Endangered Species and by the Zoological Society of London using IUCN standards. The UN backed Convention of Migratory Species selected Gobi bear for protection in 2017. The population included only around 30 adults in 2009 and is separated by enough distance from other brown bear populations to achieve reproductive isolation.

Gobi bears mainly eat roots, berries, and other plants, sometimes rodents; there is no evidence that they prey on large mammals. Small compared to other brown bear subspecies, adult males weigh about 96.0–138.0 kg and females about 51.0–78.0 kg.

Gobi Bears have very little genetic diversity, and is among the lowest ever observed in any species of Brown bear. Levels of genetic diversity similar to the Gobi Bear have only been reported in a small population of Brown bears in the Pyrenees Mountains on the border of Spain and France.

Based on morphology, the Gobi brown bear has sometimes historically been classified as being of the same subspecies as the Tibetan blue bear. However, recent phylogenetic analysis has shown the Gobi bear to instead represent a relict population of the Himalayan brown bear. There are only 22 Gobi bears left in the wild.

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SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION 500 Togrog (Mongolia) 1000 Togrog (Mongolia)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 0.5 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.61 mm 11.0 mm
FINISH Antique Proof
MODIFICATIONS Inset Swarovski crystals None
MINTAGE 2,500 15,000
BOX / COA Yes / Yes Optional / Yes