Last November, US coin dealer, Modern Coin Mart (MCM) debuted a coin designed by in-house staff artist Chuck Daughtry, and struck by Australian favourite, the Perth Mint. Featuring the predator at the top of Florida’s food-chain, the Alligator, the coin went on sale at last years FUN Convention with a mintage of 3,500. FUN (Florida United Numismatists) are holding their 60th annual convention running from 8-11th January 2015, and MCM will release the second coin there.
Closely following the style of last years coin, the 2015 entrant in the Florida Natives series drops one down the food-chain to the largest feline inhabitant of the state, the Florida Panther. Laid out using the same three-horizontal panels, with the top showing the inscription ‘Florida’, and the bottom the name of the animal (in English and Latin) along with a small map of the state over a map of the USA. The centre panel is where the artwork sits, and it plays right into a style the Perth Mint is extremely comfortable with, a clean-struck animal on a coloured background.
This time around there will only be 1,000 coins minted and some of these will be NGC-graded with custom FUN-show labels. Last years Alligator is available for $49.00, but it’s possible the price may be higher for the Panther given the far more restricted mintage. As the state animal, and the name of the local hockey team, we’d imagine an enthusiastic reception to the launch and some brisk sales.
This coin commemorates Florida Native Wildlife which is set for release at the 2015 Florida United Numismatists convention in Orlando, Florida. Struck by the Perth Mint on behalf of ModernCoinMart from 1oz. of 99.9% fine silver in proof quality, the coin is issued as legal tender under the authority of the Government of Tuvalu.
The Florida panther (Puma concolor) is recognized as Florida’s official state animal, but is one of the most endangered mammals on Earth. They once flourished in woodlands and swamps around the Southeast, but their habitat is rapidly disappearing. Panthers historically ranged across the entire Southeastern United States. Today, the breeding population of Florida panthers (100-180 adults and subadults) is found only in the southern tip of Florida.
Panthers are solitary and territorial animals that travel hundreds of miles within their home ranges. They are most active between dusk and dawn and rest during the heat of the day. Panthers communicate through vocalizations that can be described as chirps, peeps, whistles, purrs and growls.
When panthers were named a federally endangered species in 1967, a mere population of 12 to 20 remained in a single, isolated breeding population at the tip of Florida. In Florida, their threats are mainly loss of habitat, collision with motor vehicles and lack of human tolerance to live with a large predator.
Florida Panthers are best described as large, tan cats. Their bodies are mainly covered in beige fur, except for their whitish-gray belly and chest. Black markings on the tip of the tail, ears and around the snout differentiate them. Florida panthers grow to be about 6 or 7 feet long with the males being bigger than the females.
Panthers are carnivores and so are skilled at hunting. They will live about 12 years in the wild, but are very susceptible to disease and genetic disorders due to the small population left in Florida.
The reverse of the coin depicts a selectively colorized Florida panther standing on a fallen oak tree with a background containing saw palmetto, a scene typical of South Florida. One of the key elements of the Florida United Numismatists logo, a map of Florida overlaid onto a map of the United States, is also featured in this design.
The coin’s obverse portrays the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the monetary denomination, the 2015 year-date and the coin’s weight and fineness.