EASTERN CARIBBEAN 8 (2018-2022) by Scottsdale Mint

Scottsdale have been issuing some great limited run bullion coins over the last few years, such as the Cayman Islands Marlin and Hokusai, The Great Wave and they’ve now embarked on an eight coin program for release in a single year that will see issues for eight different countries. The eight island nations included in the programme are Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines. All of the these small island nations share a currency and a central bank. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is the official issuer of the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, which is legal tender in the territories of all eight members.

Some of these nations have never had a gold or silver bullion coin issued for them, but Scottsdale will change that with a unique design for each country being released throughout 2018. In addition to the bullion coins, there are also proof variants with tighter mintages and a higher quality finish, although priced much higher, of course.

The bullion coin is available as a 1oz 0.999 silver (25,000 mintage) or 1oz 0.9999 gold (2,500) variant, and in addition to those there are a pair of proof commemorative versions with similar weights, but far smaller mintages. The proof coins have some selective colouring on the reverse face, something we’d prefer wasn’t there, to be honest. The proof coins will come boxed with a certificate of authenticity. The bullion variants ship in capsules on customized Scottsdale Mint branded skin boards of five, although dealers will sell them individually. The gold BU coins will ship in Scottsdale Mint’s Certi-Lock® packaging.

Each design will take imagery associated with the island in question, which given the rich historical and natural history of the region, shouldn’t be a problem. For example, the first coin picks up on Antigua’s rum-running past, and the third the natural beauty of the lush Dominica. When complete, this should be a fine encapsulation of part of one of the world’s most beautiful regions. Highlights for me are Anguilla and St. Lucia (both s1 & s2), and Montserrat (s3). Available from dealers worldwide, although APMEX has an initial exclusive in the US, before wider availability.

ANGUILLA

Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, lying east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and directly north of Saint Martin. The territory consists of the main island of Anguilla, approximately 26 km long and 4.8 km at its widest point, together with a number of much smaller islands and cays with no permanent population. The island’s capital is The Valley. The total land area of the territory is 91 km2, with a population of approximately 15,000 (2016 estimate).

NOTED GEOGRAPHY: A flat, low-lying island of coral, noted for its spectacular and ecologically important coral reefs and beaches. Northeastern trade winds keep this tropical island relatively cool and dry. The island is subject to both sudden tropical storms and hurricanes.

NOTED NATURE: Anguilla has habitat for the Cuban tree frogs, the red-footed tortoise, the green iguana, and five species of bats.The surrounding seas teem with life, although land species are limited.

NOTED CULTURE: The island is noted for its cuisine, especially seafood, and is a centre for tourism. There are regular sailing regattas on national holidays, such as
Carnival, which are contested by locally built and designed boats.

2018 LOBSTER

2019 LOBSTER II

2020 COAT-OF-ARMS

2021 SAILING REGATTA

2022 EELS

ANTIGUA & BARBUDA

Antigua and Barbuda are two Caribbean islands, separated by around 40 km, forming a country that lies between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. The total population is just shy of 100,000 people, 97% of whom live on Antigua. The capital and largest port and city is St. John’s on Antigua. The island of Antigua was explored by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and named for the Church of Santa María La Antigua, but was colonised by Britain in 1632. It gained independence in 1981, and remains a Commonwealth nation.

NOTED GEOGRAPHY: Antigua and Barbuda both are generally low-lying islands whose terrain has been influenced more by limestone formations than volcanic activity. The highest point on Antigua and Barbuda is Boggy Peak, which is the remnant of a volcanic crater rising 402 metres. The shorelines of both islands are greatly indented with beaches, lagoons, and natural harbours. The islands are rimmed by reefs and shoals. There are few streams as rainfall is slight.

NOTED NATURE: A wide variety of birds, reptiles and fish inhabit the country, and there has been great progress in clearing some of the smaller islands of invasive creatures, like rats. As a result, snakes, and seabird numbers have grown considerably.

NOTED CULTURE: The islands are known for their association with rum, and for tourism, which accounts for some 80% of the island’s GDP. Sugar production has historically been very important. The national sport is cricket, and they compete internationally.

2018 RUM RUNNER

2019 RUM RUNNER II

2020 RUM RUNNER III

2021 FRIGATEBIRD

2022

DOMINICA

Not to be confused with the far larger Dominican Republic, the Commonwealth of Dominica is an island of approximately 750² km that is part of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles archipelago. The island is located near Guadeloupe to the northwest and Martinique to the south-southeast. The island was originally inhabited by the Kalinago and later colonised by Europeans. It gained independence from Britain in 1978 and has a population of approximately 75,000. The size of the country is about 750 km2, and it’s about 47 km long by 26 km wide.

NOTED GEOGRAPHY: It’s the youngest island in the Lesser Antilles, and still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity, as evidenced by the world’s second-largest hot spring, called Boiling Lake. The island has lush mountainous rainforests (highest point is Morne Diablotins, at 1,447 m), and it is the home of many rare plants, animals, and bird species.

NOTED NATURE: The ecosystem on Dominica is exceptionally varied and vibrant. The national animal is the Sisserou Parrot, found only here, but the variety of birds, reptiles, insects and more is almost unrivalled elsewhere in the Caribbean. The island has several protected areas, including Cabrits National Park, as well as 365 rivers.

NOTED CULTURE: Tourism is the key to the island’s fortunes. Called the Nature Isle for its vibrant flora and fauna, it attracts many, especially for diving in the surrounding seas, and hiking in the mountains.

2018 NATURE ISLE

2019 SISSEROU PARROT

2020 HUMMINGBIRD

2021 SISSEROU II

2022

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