Endangered animals are one of those subjects that appear on coins quite regularly, perhaps a sad reflection on us as a species given the plethora of such animals to choose from, and there are several series on the market. Along with the Mint of Polands SOS Endangered Animal series, the New Zealand Mint has had some good success with its proof silver Endangered Species range. The Giant Panda is the seventh coin to be launched in the series, although there is some debate over the first coin released back in 2013 featuring the Venerable Collared Lizard. This one has subsequently turned out to be unique in that it is was coloured and carried a different style of art, so it sits a little uneasily in the range. The NZ Mint considers it part of the series however, and we’re inclined to agree given it fits so well in every other respect and is a fine design in its own right. All of the subsequent releases, the Black Rhino, the Bengal Tiger, the Mountain Gorilla, the Pygmy Hippo and the Snow Leopard have stuck with a clenly struck style and depict the animal in its natural environment and near a body of water upon which is carried its reflection.
This new coin carries on with the later style and the subject matter inevitably draws comparison with the Bank of China’s seminal Panda series of bullion coins, although in our view there’s little doubt that this is a more complex and attractive design than those. The mini packing crate that’s been a feature of the Endangered Species series since the very beginning is still here The price remains at $85.00 USD, and the mintage has stayed at the 2,000 piece limit as before. The coin is available now from the New Zealand Mint website, and from one of the many dealers that carry their coins around the world.
The seventh release in the Endangered Species coin collection features one of the rarest of the bear family, the Giant Panda. This peaceful creature with its distinctive black and white coat is found in high altitude forests in the mountains of central China and fewer than 1,000 are believed to exist.
Pandas generally eat in a relaxed, seated posture. While they may appear sedentary, they are skilled tree-climbers and efficient swimmers for their size.
Solitary by nature, Giant Pandas have a highly developed sense of smell that can be used to avoid a rivals territory or find the opposite sex during mating season. At birth, a cub will weigh only 125 g (4.5 oz), around 1/900th the weight of its mother.
While statistics are hard come by due to this animal’s private nature, less than 1,000 Giant Pandas are now left in the wild. Urban development has increasingly fragmented and isolated populations, all the while reducing the Panda’s access to food sources. Poaching remains an ever present threat. While over 50 Panda reserves have been established, this only protects around 61% of the total population.
REVERSE: This relief-engraved Silver Coin shows an endangered Giant Panda feeding with its cub. The scene is mirrored in the finely engraved water.
OBVERSE: This features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
PACKAGING: The Endangered Species, Giant Panda 1 oz Silver coin comes packaged in a rustic wooden crate coin case and printed outer packaging.
final coin in this lovely series