The fourth coin in the Helvetic Mint’s Endangered Wildlife series of antique silver coins has just been launched and features a animal with what can only be described as an epic nose, the Proboscis Monkey. This series of two-ounce coins kicked off in 2012 with a pretty Bird of Paradise coin, and was followed in 2013 with one highlighting the Great Barrier Reef. Last years entrant was a little more unusual and was adorned with a pair of European Stag Beetles.

The 2015 coin follows the same style as those that have gone before. The antique finish combined with 5c digital printing is rare enough, but there are very few nature coins with this combination, surprising given its effectiveness. Struck to a high-relief, something the Helvetic Mint must consider a speciality of theirs, the quality of the colouring on prior coins has been first-class, managing to fill all the peaks and troughs of the relief that reaches 0.9mm in places, no mean feat, and we can see nothing here to suggest this latest coin won’t maintain the standards.

These tend to sell in the €180-200 range, not surprising given the level of work and the relatively tiny mintage of just 500, and with previous coins appearing to be well liked, there’s nothing here that collectors of the series won’t warmly welcome. Should be available some time over the next few weeks.

BELOW: A RAW COIN

MINTS DESCRIPTION

The Proboscis Monkey, also called “Nose-Monkey” with its huge snout that keeps growing throughout its life wins by a nose for having the biggest proboscis of any other primates on earth!

Humans might run for cover with this nose, but for the proboscis monkey, the bigger the nose the better! It turns out that nothing turns on a female proboscis monkey more than a big, bulbous nose.

Scientists think these outsize organs create an echo chamber that amplifies the monkey’s call, impressing females and intimidating rival males. Proboscis monkeys are endemic to the jungles of Borneo, never straying far from the island’s rivers, coastal mangroves, and swamps. They are a highly arboreal species and will venture onto land only occasionally to search for food. They live in organized harem groups consisting of a dominant male and two to seven females and their offspring. Proboscis monkeys are the primate world’s most prolific swimmers, frequently leaping from tree limbs and hitting the water with a comical belly flop. They’ve evolved webbed feet and hands to help them outpace the crocodiles that are some of their main predators.

Among the largest of Asia’s monkeys, male proboscis specimens can reach 23 kilograms, although females attain only about half that size. Adults wear a coat of light brown fur that turns red around the head and shoulders and gray at the arms, legs, and tail. Only males develop the namesake nose. The proboscis monkey is assessed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and listed in Appendix I of CITES. Its total population has decreased by more than 50% in the past 36–40 years due to ongoing habitat loss and hunting in some areas.

The population is fragmented: the largest remaining populations are found in Kalimantan, there are far fewer in Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah. The proboscis monkey is protected by law in Borneo and Malaysia.

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$10 FJD 0.999 SILVER 62.2 g 50.00 mm ANTIQUE 500 YES / YES
HELVETIC MINT