The latest coin from Numiscollect is one that should have great appeal to wildlife and nature coin collectors, featuring a fascinating subject rarely seen on coins, and presented in a clever way. The Dutch coin producer has long been adept at releasing antique-finish coins. Indeed, one of my own favourite coin series is one such, History of the Crusades. There’s no shortage of antique-finish wildlife coins, MCI-Mint in particular putting out some fine examples, but a combination of an antique finish with proof highlighting is a rare beast indeed.

The beast in question is marine oddity, the Narwhal. Living all year round in the Arctic waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia, the Narwhal is one of only two species of toothed whale in the Monodontidae family, the other being the Beluga Whale. Technically a medium-sized whale, they can still reach lengths of 5.5 m (18ft) and that’s not including the feature that makes them so special. That feature is a long, straight, helical tusk, essentially a protruding canine tooth that can reach lengths of just over 3m (10ft). A male feature predominantly, around 15% of females also develop a smaller one. The tusk is an innervated sensory organ with millions of patent nerve endings connecting seawater stimuli in the external ocean environment with the brain. It is believed that the animals can share information on the water they’ve travelled through by rubbing tusks together.

The coin, which is available to order from some dealers already, is struck in one-ounce of fine silver and antique finished. The highlight feature here is the proof finish to the Narwhals tusk, something quite simple in theory, but likely very tricky to pull off in practice. Whatever the difficulties, it looks effective and is a great focal point for the coin. The artwork is really nicely done, successfully capturing the nature of this amazing animal and would make a great addition to a wildlife coin collection. Packaged in a coin box inside a coloured shipper, it sells for around the €110-120 mark.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

This coin features a partly PROOF finish horn. A new high-tech technology on antique finish coins.

The narwhal, or narwhale (Monodon monoceros), is a medium-sized toothed whale that possesses a large “tusk” from a protruding canine tooth. It lives year-round in the Arctic waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. It is one of two living species of whale in the Monodontidae family, along with the beluga whale. The narwhal males are distinguished by a long, straight, helical tusk, which is an elongated upper left canine.

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 COOK ISLANDS 0.999 SILVER 31.1 g 38.61 mm ANTIQUE 999 YES / YES
NUMISCOLLECT