Royal Australian Mint’s latest coin set looks at the continents less cuddly wildlife from the inside

There’s no shortage of wildlife coins on the market, as we’re sure you know. Everything from cheap and cheerful bullion coins to a 54kg elephant themed behemoth, have featured a nature theme, so it isn’t often we see a new take. The Royal Australian Mint has debuted a new three coin range simply called ‘Inside Australia’s Most Dangerous’, and as we’ve repeatedly noted, that’s a continent that is spoilt for choice on that front…

These coins depict the skeletons of three animals, the Western Taipan Snake, the Saltwater Crocodile, and the Tasmanian Devil. A good idea counts for nothing if the implementation sucks, but fortunately, that isn’t the case here. Each design carries the subject name in its common and Latin classification versions, neatly placed in a box bordered on three sides that heads off at right angles to the border. A small map of Australia has a darkened area that defines the habitat range of the animal in question. The main attraction is a skeletal depiction of the animal. The Tasmanian Devil and the Crocodile look excellent, but the Taipan coin is a beautiful effort, in our view.

The obverse is a simple Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II (thankfully, not in skeletal form), which is a little disappointing, but normal for the Royal Australian Mint. Packaging is neat enough. A themed outer shipper is nice and classy, and there’s the obligatory Certificate of Authenticity. You can buy all three coins as a set, which comes in a box that simply collects the three boxed coins together. There’s no discount buying this way ($307.50 vs 3 lots of $102.50 AUD), but you do get a free box.

Available to order now, this is a great idea, very well realised. There are plenty of fossil coins of course, but little looking at modern wildlife in this way. We’d be more than happy to see these return next year with a new trio of subjects – perhaps with an aquatic twist.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

‘Australia’s Most Dangerous’ is a three-coin series that features some of Australia’s deadliest animals reproduced in skeletal form. This set comes with a lovely outer display box to keep all three of the 2020 $5 silver proof coins in. The three coins are the fearsome Saltwater Crocodile, the Tasmanian Devil and the Western Taipan.

This beautiful 2020 $5 silver proof coin shows the fearsome Saltwater Crocodile in a new and unique form. The skeletal form of the crocodile hunting its prey demonstrates the power and grace of Australia’s ‘Salty’.

Tasmanian Devils are the world’s largest surviving marsupial carnivores. They were named for the terrifying screams, growls and coughs that they utter when gathering to feed.

A sinuous and elegant Western Taipan snake lunges at its prey – in skeletal form. The Western Taipan, Australia’s most venomous terrestrial snake, is feared and respected in equal measure.

https://www.mdm.de/
SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $5 Australia
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 40.0 mm
FINISH Proof
MODIFICATIONS None
MINTAGE 5,000 per design
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes