The Polar Ecosystem shines on Numiscollects first ‘Our World’ silver coin, bringing to life Earths great habitats

A coin we briefly looked at on its announcement at the Berlin World Money Fair, back when we could leave the house and visit other human beings, ‘Our Worlds: Polar Ecosystems’ was the first in a new numismatic jaunt around the planets various biological systems. It’s a rich subject and Numiscollect have created something a bit different, although not to far away from the beaten path.

A smartminted two-ounce fine silver coin, it takes an attractive multi-panel approach to the subject, using colour to highlight certain elements. The largest arewa on the coin is filled with an Arctic vista teeming with life. The sky is filled with migratory birds, the land by a coloured Polar Bear and an Arctic Fox, and the sea by a shoal of fish and an Orca. each element is scaled as reuired rather than to esch other.

To the right, under a coloured satellite image of the Earth, lies a colour depiction of an iceberg. Only the coin title and date are inscribed here and in a neat and non-distracting way. The Palau shield emblem occupies pride of place on the obverse. The coin is a standard diameter one, with the extra ounce in weight going on the high-relief and the thickness, This has resulted in a wide edge to the coin which is smooth, and in a new twist, coloured. The overall effect is attractive and suits the theme very well. We can imagine a tropical coin with a green border, for example.

Presented in a box with a Certificate of Authenticity, this neat coin has a mintage of 499 pieces and is available now from all the usual dealers.


Polar environments comprise the Arctic (Northern Hemisphere) and Antarctic regions (Southern). The Arctic regions are predominantly built up of a thick ice sheet, with little land above sea level underneath. By contrast, Antarctica is a terrestrial environment covered in ice. Situated at the Earth’s poles, the tilt of the planet ensures that either receive sunlight (midnight sun) or shade (polar night) 24 hours a day. Polar regions also contain the subantarctic and subarctic zone which separate them from the temperate regions.

Polar climates are cold, windy and dry, due to the lack of
precipitation and low temperatures, the latter the result of around 90% of the sun’s radiation being reflected back off the snow. Wind is also strong in the polar region, carrying snow and creating blizzard like conditions. The temperatures are similar between the Arctic and Antarctic and can range as much as 100 °C. In Verkhoyansk, Siberia it has reached the coldest temp of −68.8 °C in the Northern Hemisphere, yet temperatures in the summer can get to 36 °C.

It goes without saying that Polar ecosystems are harsh places, with highly specialised flora and fauna. Land invertebrates, including spiders, do exist in some of the milder regions of the Arctic, and larger animals like foxes, wolves, rabbits, hares, polar bears, and reindeer/caribou are also based there. There are no land animals native to Antarcctica, however. The Arctic is permanent home to 8 species of bird, and a temporary home to 150 more, usually between May and July. No birds reside in Antarctica, although some do visit in the summer months.

There are also many different animals that live in the sea water near polar regions. Squids are one animal that live in both Antarctica and
the Arctic. They’re the food source for other large animals such as the male sperm whale. There’s also a wide variety of fish, with Arctic cod a
major species in the Arctic, along with Halibut, herring, and Alaska pollock. In Antarctica there isn’t a lot of diversity among the fish, with Antarctic silverfish and lanternfish common examples. Whales are also in the polar regions and can be found near the surfaces of water where they eat. (Adapted from Wikipedia)

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
MODIFICATIONS Colour, coloured edge
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes