A twelve-coin bullion series that issues a single design every year, Tokelau Sealife debuted in 2014 to a mixed reception. Buyers seemed to like the design, but there were soon comments regarding the quality of the prooflike coin circulating around the forums. This resulted in a change to a satin finish, seen as a way of minimising the look of flaws. Fortunately, the series quality picked up rapidly, keeping the satin finish until 2020, and while these are not struck to the same standard as a Perth Mint bullion coin, for example, they’re much improved these days.
Fortunately, the series, which looks at sealife around the Oceanic island nation Tokelau, has a solid artistic foundation, with each of the issues to date showing a fine grasp of the subject’s anatomy and habitat. Indeed, many would make good proof coins. Initially the brainchild of Perth-based producer, Treasures of Oz, the silver coins are struck in the US at the Highland Mint. It seems that the project is now fully handled by the latter company.
Just a single format makes up the series, and it’s the classic one-ounce fine silver one. There was a half-ounce variant of the Yellowfin Tuna coin with a 250k mintage, but that was the only one to appear, and we’re not expecting it to return. Treasures of Oz also produced 0.5 gram minigold proof variants of the first two designs as well, a format they do have a lot of experience with, but again, they haven’t continued. As for mintages of the main attraction, after an initial 500,000 units, we’ve seen a rapid decline as the overall market has changed. The producer is to be commended for adapting so quickly to the market.
The producer changed the core design of the series with the 2020 release, with a new obverse, patterned backgrounds, and the addition of a one-ounce gold version to run alongside the silver. Mintages that year were a much more palatable 20,000 silver and 100 gold, with subsequent silver releases down to 10,000 units. The series now appears more modern, with the excellent fish depictions remaining, but the satin finish getting kicked to the kerb. It’s also now an exclusive coin to US mega-dealer, APMEX.