Royal Australian Mint launches ‘Fraser’s Dolphin’ the third in its aquatic buillion coin series

The Royal Australian mint’s pretty ‘Dolphin’ bullion coin series is back with a third annual release. Following the Bottlenose Dolphin in 2019, and the Spinner Dolphin in 2020 (which you can see lower down), comes Fraser’s Dolphin and it’s another fine looking piece. It closely follows previous issues in basic design, with a prominent border holding the inscribed title and composition.

The centre is where the main attraction is, and it’s our favourite to date. Known for their dramatic swimming parties, the pair of dolphins are aptly depicted bursting from the surface of the ocean. The artistic style is subtly stylistic and works exceptionally well. We like this series a lot and this latest release does nothing to diminish that.

No changes to the formats. A one ounce 0.999 silver and a one ounce 0.9999 gold are perennially popular, the former sold encapsulated, as befits its 25,000 mintage, and the latter nicely boxed (mintage of 250). As always, an APMEXcIusive, although other dealers , like LPM in Hong Kong, will also have them on sale from today.

FRASER’S DOLPHIN (Lagenodelphis hosei)

Also called the Sarawak dolphin, it was first descfribed from a skull in the British Museum dating back to 1895, but not examined properly until 1956, by Francis Fraser (hence the name). Concluding that it was a new genus, it remained unseen in the wild until1971, when a body washed up in the eastern Pacific.

Quite a large animal, and a stocky one, Fraser’s Dolphin grows up to 2.75 metres in length, weighing in around 200 kg. They differ from other dolphins by having relatively small flippers and fins, as well as the beak. A cream coloured line runs along the side, under which is a darker one. They are grey above, and much lighter below.

Swimming in groups of 100 to 1,000 individuals, it’s said to be an impressive sight to behold. Less impressive is the wedding tackle, reputedly the smallest of any open sea dolphin. They feed by echolocation around 200 metres deep, hunting fish, shrimp and squid. They range from the Gulf of Mexico, to the Eastern pacific, although are less common in the Atlantic. The Philippines are home to some of the largest populations in the world.

DENOMINATION $100 Australia $1 Australia
COMPOSITION 0.9999 gold 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.74 mm 40. 0 mm
FINISH Bullion Bullion
MINTAGE 250 25,000
BOX / COA Yes / Yes No / No