Another new series from Numiscollect heads back in the darkness with a look at the nocturnal world of the animal kingdom. A fascinating subject with plenty of material to choose from, this Dutch coin producer has chosen the much-loved Red Panda to kick the series off. Native to the Himalayas and southwestern China, this arboreal reddish-brown is the only living member of the Ailurus genus, not related to the iconic Giant Panda at all. Active from dusk until dawn, it’s a fitting creature to debut this new series.
A troy ounce of fine silver is pretty standard and the black proof finish has been used before, but this coin has for an encore the application of CIT & BH Mayers’ superb SmartMinting technology. The end result is a coin with not only an excellent level of relief and detail, but also with a giant 55 mm diameter – far more than the usual 38.6 mm diameter you’d expect at this weight. The upside is an increase in surface area of 100%. The obvious benefit is the space given for the artwork to shine and it appears to do so in spades here.
A Red Panda walking towards the viewer is a fine rendition that looks spot on for appearance and does a good job of filling the coin without looking like it’s been squeezed into the shape. Framed on both sides by bamboo, the use of colour on only the panda itself does a fine job of making it stand out from its ‘habitat’. The coin title and date are inscribed on this face, but are both quite innocuous as they’re coloured to match the background surrounding them. Issued for Cook Islands, the obverse obviously carries the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by the usual coin inscriptions. This face is also finished as a black proof and has a moon and starry night sky struck in it – a nice touch.
Supplied in a box with a certificate of authenticity, it’s a nice package and one the nature coin collector, and we’re assuming from the variety of coins on the market that there are plenty of those, will no doubt appreciate. A series to keep an eye on. Shipping in October/November.