The Kings of the Continents series from the New Zealand Mint has now released the fourth coin in the silver coin series. Featuring the largest animal for the series so far in the North American Grizzly Bear.
The Kings of the Continents series is a series of silver1oz proof coins from the New Zealand mint. The coins aim to explore the animal world by featuring the most dominant and revered animals from around the world. So far the series has included the African Lion, King Cobra, the Grey Wolf and now the imposing Grizzly Bear.
Grizzly Bears(Ursus arctos horribilis) are North American subspecies of the Brown Bear. The bear gained it's common name from the explorers Lewis and Clark after the grizzled appearance of it's fur. The bear was not formally classified until 1815 when naturalist George Ord named the bear as “Ursus horribilis” or the Terrifying Bear. This awe-inspiring giant can stand as tall as 2.5 m (8 ft) and weighs up to 360 kg (800 lbs). With approximately 1000 to 1500 grizzly bears remaining in the wild they are listed as threatened in the United States and as endangered in parts of Canada.
The reverse of the coin depicts a Grizzly Bear with it's jaws wide open, roaring against an unknown opponent. In the background snow capped mountains are engraved to the right, representing the bear's natural habitat. The bear itself is treated with a colour finish while the rest of the coin is left with a traditional proof finish. A thin ornate border separates the portrait from the raised rim of the coin. The words “1oz 999 Fine Silver” appear to the bottom right along the rim in reverse proof lettering.
The obverse is what you would expect from the New Zealand Mint and is shared with the rest of the Kings of the Continents series. The crowned and right facing effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II appears in the centre, “IRB” engraved just below. The legend is inscribed in a clockwise direction around the rim and reads : “ELIZABETH II”, “NIUE”, “TWO DOLLARS” and “2016”.
The coin is shipped encapsulated in a printed slip case depicting an artists rendition of the bear's natural habitat. The case slides open to reveal the coin nestled inside a black velvet tray.
The coin is struck from 1oz of pure .999 Fineness silver and measures 40mm. With a limited mintage of 5000 coins total the New Zealand Mint is making the coin available for US$80.00 each directly from their website.
To view the rest of the Kings of the continents series of silver coins go to the WNN gallery section HERE