It was only four months ago that we looked at the first in a new series of nature coins from Australian producer, Downies, themed around the bird world, and featuring the Eastern Rosella, a member of the parrot family. The art is taken from the work of John Gould, a British ornithologist highly regarded in bird circles, often talked about alongside Audubon for his contributions.
This is a relatively simple coin, struck in an ounce of fine silver, and coloured on the reverse face. These coins live or die on their aesthetics, and fortunately, Gould does the business again. The picture of what we presume is a mating pair, likely wasn’t painted by John Gould, but probably by his wife Elizabeth, who, along with a select few other artists, including the noted Edward Lear, illustrated his books. It’s a gorgeous image yet again, following the original quite closely. Those illustrations likewise had coloured birds on monochrome backgrounds.
The reverse is nice and clean, with just the bird name, and a custom ‘JG’ privy mark honouring the man, present with all the specification and denomination inscriptions out of sight on the obverse. The packaging is a nice piano black box, holding a Certificate of Authenticity, and itself packed inside an attractive themed shipper. The mintage is capped at 750 units, and it’s available now.