Perennial favourite Marine Life Protection coins series wraps up with a superb two-coin finale

Marine Life Protection is one of the oldest commemorative coin programmes of recent years, starting back in 1992 and thus enjoying its 25th anniversary in 2017. Coin Invest Trust have decided to call time on the series but something that’s been with the producer for so long deserves a special send-off and CIT have certainly done that.

Like Mountains & Flora, World of Wonder and Prismatic Wildlife, these have always been simple affairs compared to the more ambitious numismatics this European producer is known for. Despite that, the sheer longevity and numbers of these coins issued over the last three decades proves without question that there’s a healthy market for these series, so much so that they continue to be issued by CIT (World of Hunting, WWF). Just because a series doesn’t push any numismatic boundaries doesn’t mean they can’t be attractive coins in their right.

Each of the issues in the Marine Life Protection series depicts an aquatic creature in its environment. Up until 2012 the coins were predominantly coloured on the reverse face. From 2015 onwards the amount of colour reduced further and was used to highlight the animal against a cleanly struck background. In 2016 the series employed SmartMinting for the first time, bringing with it enhanced detail and relief. Despite this however, the series is to bow out in 2017 but it’s doing so in style.

2017 MARINE LIFE PROTECTION FINAL EDITION COIN SET

Instead of a 25 gram silver coin, CIT are wrapping up the series with a pair of two-ounce coins struck with full SmartMinting to an extremely impressive level of high relief. Keeping the standard diameter of 38.61 mm, the extra weight goes on thickness and making possible the relief. Both designs are quite superb in our view, amongst the very best that CIT have produced this year – some feat considering what else they’ve issued.

The first coin features a quite sublime dolphin against a reef background, almost looking like it’s photo-bombing the picture. With just some small fish fully coloured, the coin is predominantly clean. There’s some subtle shading on the dolphin to enhance the depth and it all works perfectly. The second coin has an equally excellent depiction of a seahorse upon it. The background and use of colour is the same, the main subject standing out in detailed high relief.

2017 MARINE LIFE PROTECTION COIN FACES

Marine Life Protection as a series has always had a little twist on the obverse face. Issued for the Oceanic state of Palau, that country has a national emblem composed of the god Neptune and mermaid(s). Fortunately, and unlike most other countries, Palau gives CIT some leeway with the design and as long as the recognisable elements are in place that gives a lot of scope for some interesting reinterpretations. The last three years have seen some great designs, but never with the level of relief on the 2017 pair. The pair of mermaids mirror the quality of the reverse face and round out excellent coins.

Packaging is a departure from the usual CIT wooden box. A long Nimbus-style latex floating frame with a themed insert holds the coins in a way that makes them easy to display. A fitting finish to a series that spent much of its history without any packaging outside of a capsule. A certificate of authenticity is included. Shipping at the end of this month, this is a surprise and very attractive end to a series that has been a fixture at CIT for a quarter of a century. Whether you’ve collected other Marine Life Protection coins or not, this set is one definitely worth checking out. Only 500 will be minted. Our sponsors sell these, including Minted-UK and PowerCoin.

SPECIFICATION

NAME 2017  DOLPHIN 2017  SEAHORSE
DENOMINATION $10 Palau $10 Palau
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams 62.2 g
DIAMETER 38.61 mm 38.61 mm
FINISH Proof Proof
MODIFICATIONS SmartMinting, colour SmartMinting, colour
MINTAGE 500 500
BOX / COA Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
COIN INVEST TRUST