Early peek at the 2017 Wildlife Family silver coin reveals an ultra high relief Wolf design

One of the Mint of Polands numerous wildlife series, the Pela-Coins commissioned Wildlife Family has always been a little different from the mints many coloured 17.5 gram coin ranges. Eschewing the usual proof finish, this is a line closer in concept to CIT’s award-winning Wildlife Protection coins. Struck to a high-relief and with an antique finish, these close up looks at various animals are also highlighted by the inset Swarovski crystals in the subjects eyes.

The fifth coin in this annual series, previous issues have featured Tigers (2013), Buffalo (2014), Snow Leopards (2015) and Black Puma (2016). All are powerful animals, dominant in one form or another within their environments, so the choice of the Wolf for this coin should come as no surprise. Like many of the new wave of coins from the Mennica Polska, the renders we have of this issue point to an enhanced level of detail, although obviously we’ll know for sure when finished coin images start to circulate.

Depicting a snarling wolf head-on with a cub snuggling up to its face, it looks a fine design. Just the coin title is inscribed on this face in the font that the MP uses for the majority of its special issues. There are two Swarovski crystals here this time (previous issues varied up to 4), yellow in colour and placed in the adult animals eyes. These crystals are a love or hate item for collectors, but even if they normally annoy you, they do at least integrate well here – they don’t look incongruous or an afterthought. The obverse is similar to previous coins and one we like. A Niue coin within a coin carries the obligatory Queens effigy, but the border is customised with a wolf hair pattern to match the subject, just like earlier coins have employed. The smooth, rimless finish is a real positive.

The coin comes with a certificate of authenticity and while a box is optional, we can’t see many of these being sold without one. Only 500 of these will be struck and previous issues have all sold out at the mint. This one isn’t up for sale yet, but earlier coins have sold in the €100-110 range and we’d expect this one to follow suit and remain in that ballpark. We’ll revisit this one when we get some finished coin pictures, but in the meantime we have a very promising looking piece.



The grey wolf (Canis lupus) also known as the timber wolf, or western wolf, is a canid native to the wilderness and remote areas of North America and Eurasia. It is the largest extant member of its family, with males averaging 43–45 kg (95–99 lb), and females 36–38.5 kg (79–85 lb). Like the red wolf, it is distinguished from other Canis species by its larger size and less pointed features, particularly on the ears and muzzle. Its winter fur is long and bushy, and predominantly a mottled grey in color, although nearly pure white, red, or brown to black also occur.

The grey wolf is the second most specialised member of the genus Canis, after the Ethiopian wolf, as demonstrated by its morphological adaptations to hunting large prey, its more gregarious nature, and its highly advanced expressive behavior. It is nonetheless closely related enough to smaller Canis species, such as the eastern wolf, coyote and golden jackal to produce fertile hybrids. Its closest relative is the domestic dog, with which it shared a common European ancestor which likely diverged 14,900 years ago. It is the only species of Canis to have a range encompassing both the Old and New Worlds, and originated in Eurasia during the Pleistocene, colonizing North America on at least three separate occasions during the Rancholabrean. It is a social animal, travelling in nuclear families consisting of a mated pair, accompanied by the pair’s adult offspring. The grey wolf is typically an apex predator throughout its range, with only humans and tigers posing a serious threat to it. It feeds primarily on large ungulates, though it also eats smaller animals, livestock, carrion, and garbage.

The grey wolf is one of the world’s best known and well researched animals, with probably more books written about it than any other wildlife species. It has a long history of association with humans, having been despised and hunted in most pastoral communities because of its attacks on livestock, while conversely being respected in some agrarian and hunter-gatherer societies. Although the fear of wolves is pervasive in many human societies, the majority of recorded attacks on people have been attributed to animals suffering from rabies. Non-rabid wolves have attacked and killed people, mainly children, but this is unusual, as wolves are relatively few, live away from people, and have been taught to fear humans by hunters and shepherds. (Source: Wikipedia)


COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIAMETER 38.61 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, Yellow Swarovski crystals
BOX / COA Yes / Yes