The Singapore Mint has expanded upon its five-year programme of two-per-year Orchid coins with a new collection containing revised versions of the ten released between 2011 and 2015. The Orchids of Singapore series was comprised of individually packaged, or boxed pairs, very well presented in themed Nimbus-style latex frames. Struck to a proof standard in one-ounce of fine (0.999) silver, each coin depicted one of the myriad of beautiful orchids for which this small country is famed, selectively highlighted in colour, but against a clean-struck background. These were certainly some of the best flora-themed coins to appear and made fine use of colour, something not always welcome on a coin.

Fast forward to 2016 and the mint has re-issued the coins in a sense, choosing the same basic designs as before, but striking them in a little over a ¼oz of silver (8.56g) each. There are some problems with this approach. The coin designs have been simplified a little, although none jarringly so, a necessity brought about by the reduction in diameter from 40.7 mm to 24.7 mm, obviously due to each coins weight loss. Also missing is the design of the flower passing over the rim in places to give that ‘overgrown’ look, something we really liked on the originals. The darker background, possibly frosted, is the last, and for us most negative change, looking like they’ve lost the mirror background. Now without having seen the new coins in hand we can’t comment overly, but we have seen the superb originals and would like to have seen that look if possible.

Now if the above sounds negative, it shouldn’t do. These still look like superb coins for the collector of nature themed numismatics and the have a huge advantage in their favour; this set of ten cost the same as just one set of two in the larger format and are available. The presentation in the collectors box looks first class and plenty of effort has been expended here, so we reckon these are a great buy at S$400.00 (£205, $295 USD, €260) compared to hunting down the originals. Only 4,000 sets will be available, so much rarer than the originals also, and they ship from 24 June. A little harder to track down than coins from the Perth Mint for example, some dealers do stock these, Powercoin having them available for example. A previous set issued in 2011 collected together the Grandeur of Heritage Orchids of Singapore coins that were issued in pairs between 2006 and 2010 in exactly the same way and we’ve actually seen one for sale at First Coin Company. German dealer TopWorldCoins has also stocked these in the past.

THE TEN COINS

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Orchids represent Singapore’s national pride and identity, and their resilient qualities mirror Singapore’s continuous pursuit of excellence. Orchids, a familiar, well-loved sight to Singaporeans, are ambassadors of Singapore to the world.

Following the success of the Native Orchids of Singapore coin series that was issued from 2011 to 2015, the Monetary Authority of Singapore is proud to present The Splendour of Native Orchids Series.

The Native Orchids Series celebrate the beauty of the orchids that once thrived in Singapore, some of which are still found in our forests today. This coin set comprises 10 individual 999 Fine Silver Proof coins, each bearing the design of the orchids from the Native Orchids Series.  Each orchid is featured in full colour, bringing out the brilliance of the orchid.
The coin set includes one serialised certificate of authenticity. Each coin has a face value of $1, weighs 8.56 grams and has a diameter of 24.66 mm. Limited worldwide mintage of 4,000 sets only.

Orchids represent Singapore’s national pride and identity, and their resilient qualities mirror Singapore’s continuous pursuit of excellence. Orchids, a familiar, well-loved sight to Singaporeans, are ambassadors of Singapore to the world.

Following the success of the Native Orchids of Singapore coin series that was issued from 2011 to 2015, the Monetary Authority of Singapore is proud to present The Splendour of Native Orchids Series.

The Native Orchids Series celebrate the beauty of the orchids that once thrived in Singapore, some of which are still found in our forests today. This coin set comprises 10 individual 999 Fine Silver Proof coins, each bearing the design of the orchids from the Native Orchids Series.  Each orchid is featured in full colour, bringing out the brilliance of the orchid.
The coin set includes one serialised certificate of authenticity. Each coin has a face value of $1, weighs 8.56 grams and has a diameter of 24.66 mm. Limited worldwide mintage of 4,000 sets only.

THE TEN ORCHIDS

Cymbidium finlaysonianum
This species produces pendulous inflorescences of delicate flowers that are of an unusual olive colour complemented by an intense purple lip with a yellow tinge. Its narrow leaves are thick and leathery, growing up to 75 cm in length and 4 cm in width. This epiphytic plant is highly adaptive. It obtains its nutrients from decaying leaf litter shed by its host tree, allowing it to thrive even in a low nutrient environment.

Grammatophyllum speciosum
This species is the world’s largest growing orchid plant. A fully mature plant can weigh over a ton. It forms clumps that resemble the sugar cane plant with its individual fleshy stems growing to a height of 3 metres. When flowering, it produces inflorescences that can be longer than 2 metres bearing over 30 flowers. The showy flowers are uniquely coloured and resemble the coat of a tiger, hence its common name, Tiger Orchid.

Arundina graminifolia
Commonly known as the Bamboo Orchid for its strong resemblance to the bamboo plant, this orchid is usually found free flowering in open grasslands where there is an abundance of light and moisture. Its reedy stems, which are capable of reaching more than 1.5 metres in height, are covered with slender bamboo-like leaves that are alternately arranged. The flowers are a contrasting amalgamation of white and lavender or a deep violet-pink combination with a subtle hint of bright yellow in the throat.

Bulbophyllum macranthum
This orchid is characterized by its unique flowers where the lip is situated at the top, giving it an “upside-down” orientation. The sepals are creamy-yellow or white, with specks of dark purple.  The flowers emit a spicy odour to attract its pollinators. Its leaves grow on separate pseudobulbs and have a leathery texture.

Bulbophyllum flabellum-veneris
This orchid is characterized by its fan-shaped umbel formed by up to 10 flowers. These individual flowers, measuring 2.5 cm long and 8 mm across, form a semi-circle cluster arrangement. The flowers are yellow with flushed red and purple highlights at the base of the petals.

Dendrobium crumenatum
Commonly known as the Pigeon Orchid for its strong resemblance to a flying pigeon, this orchid grows freely in lowland forest and woodlands. It gives bloom to sweet scented flowers nine days after heavy rainstorms. The flowers are white, measuring 4 cm to 5 cm across, and are highlighted with a subtle tint of yellow in its throat.

Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi
The Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi is characterised by its star-shaped flowers, which are yellow with specks of deep maroon. The flowers measure about 3 cm to 4 cm in diameter and usually last for a long period of time. The flowers are usually found growing on trees in exposed lowland areas.

Coelogyne rochussenii
The Coelogyne rochussenii has pale yellowish-green flowers, with the sidelobes of its white lip containing brown pigments. The lemon-scented flowers measure about 5 cm in diameter, and each hanging flower spray can reach 70 cm long with more than 30 flowers. Its flowers usually bloom in the morning and close partially in the evening.

Dendrobium leonis
The Dendrobium leonis has creamy yellow petals with a tinge of red and a protruding broad lip. The vanilla-scented flowers measure about 1.2 cm to 1.5 cm in diameter. Each orchid bears many sprays of stems with thick, flattened, triangular leaves arranged in alternating rows.

Dendrobium secundum
The Dendrobium secundum is characterised by its flower sprays. Densely packed with purplish pink flowers with a contrasting orange lip, the orchid is commonly known as the “Toothbrush Orchid”. The individual flowers are uni-directional and arranged in neat rows like a toothbrush. Each individual flower measures 1.8cm long and 0.6cm wide. Depending on the size of the orchid plant, each flower spray can measure up to 12cm in length.

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$1 SINGAPORE 0.999 SILVER 8.56 g 24.66 mm PROOF 4,000 YES / YES

MINT LINK

THE SINGAPORE MINT