Launching at the World Money Fair in Berlin, but about to ship soon, the Grey Wolf is the last of the five coins to be released in Numiscollects High Relief Animals range. The first of these arrived in 2015 and was unusual for its choice of subject (the Narwhal) and the interesting mix of an antique finish with proof highlights, something uncommon at the time. That part-proof finish was to become a series signature, continued on Elephant, Snow Leopard, and Bald Eagle designs, the former of which is one of the finest coins depicting this huge beast we’ve ever seen.

The Grey Wolf leans on the Snow Leopard layout for inspiration, the animal standing proud amidst a background heavily populated with it’s mountainous habitat. It’s a fine depiction of an animal that has proven difficult to do well on a coin surface in the past. The relief is well defined and very detailed, aided by the employment of the impressive smartminting technique.

Other than that, a fairly traditional coin of an ounce in weight and 38.6 mm diameter. This keeps it considerably more affordable than Numiscollect’s more ambitious efforts and we’re big fans of producers like this one having issues at a more entry level pricewise, especially when they remain impressive strikes the equal of coins costing significantly more.

A Palau issue, that Oceanic nation’s shield emblem fills the obverse. The coin comes boxed in a themed shipper with a Certificate of Authenticity, and is available to order now.

REVERSEOBVERSE

THE GREY WOLF

The Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) is 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, and females 36–38.5 kg. 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 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)

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SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $5 Palau
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.61 mm
FINISH Antique with proof moon
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief smartminting
MINTAGE 999
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
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