The Royal Dutch Mint has unveiled the newest entry into their Dutch World Heritage Series that celebrates that which is considered of great importance either culturally of ecologically to the Dutch people and the world . The subjects covered by the series have to be unique, irreplaceable and of great importance to conserve.
The chosen subject for 2016 is the Wadden Sea. The Wadden Sea is the largest continuous intertidal zone in the world which is dry at low tide. This unique natural system of wetlands is home to numerous plant and animal species, including marine mammals such as the harbor seal, gray seal and harbor porpoise. It is also the breeding and wintering grounds for an estimated 10 to 12 million birds annually. In 2009, the Dutch and German regions of the Wadden Sea were declared as UNESCO World Heritage sites with the Danish controlled area also obtaining this status June of 2014. The word “wad” in Dutch literally translates to “mudflat”.
The reverse design depicts two birds flying overhead, these have been engraved using what the Dutch Mint is calling “Line Phase Modulation Technology”. This creates an interesting effect when the coin is viewed from different angles. At the bottom of the coin appears a starfish, these two symbols express the rich biodiversity of the Wadden Sea.
In between these are depicted all of the inhabited islands along the Wadden Sea. The reverse legend reads “DE WADDENZEE”, “NEDERLANDS WERELDERFGOED 2016” and “5 EURO” as well as the mintmark.
The obverse design prominently features the photo-realistic portrait of King Willem-Alexander on the left, in addition to a much smaller profile image as well. A stylized version of the royal coat of arms sits just to the right of the portrait image. The obverse legend reads “WILLEM-ALEXANDER KONING DER NEREDLANDEN”.
There will be five variations released of this coin. The first is a 1/2oz sterling silver 5 Euro coin in proof finish. This issue forms a part of the National Collection®, and is the official 2016 coin for the Dutch World Heritage Series. The 33mm coin is set to have a limited mintage of no more than 10 000 units.
The second issue is a special four coin set of silver 5 Euro proof coins. Three of the coins have the main legend(DE WADDENZEE) partially colorized in color of the national flags of the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. The three nations that border the Wadden Sea. The Fourth coin is actually the first partially clad coin in the Dutch Mints history. The starfish on the reverse has been gilded with a gold finish to striking effect.
These special coins will only be available as part of this four coin set and can not be purchased separately. The set is presented in a luxurious wooden display box. The four coin set will have a maximum mintage of only 750 sets, and orders will be restricted to one per person.
The third coin is a lovely 1/4oz gold 10 Euro proof coin of the same design as the silver coin. The coin is struck from .900 Fineness gold and measures 22.5mm. The gold €10 commemorative coin is presented encapsulated in a luxurious wooden display case with numbered certificate of authenticity. This coin's mintage will be limited to a maximum of 1250 coins.
Then there will also be two issues, one in brilliant uncirculated(BU or MS grade) and one in uncirculated(or regular business strike). Both these coins will be mounted on cards as a part of th Royal Dutch Mints coin card program. The uncirculated and brilliant uncirculated variants are both smaller 29mm coins struck from a more modest clad copper alloy.
The final variation is a special first day issue that consists of the uncirculated coin card in a printed envelope. This particular issue can only be obtained between the 10th and 11th of July 2016.
All variations have been listed on the Royal Dutch Mints website.
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