The Great Migrations series of silver coins from the New Zealand Mint is proving to be a very interesting new series of themed collectors coins. The second only coin in the series has just been released by the New Zealand Mint and this time around features the monarch butterfly and it's annual migration.
Rather than placing the focus of the coin on a single animal, as so many other coins have already done, the Great Migrations series explores the behavior of those animals instead. Specifically the great migrations(yes – the name pretty much says it all) that the group or a specific species undertakes on a regular basis. This surprisingly refreshing twist breathes new life into what could easily have been just another animal themed coin series.
The migration of the monarch butterfly has been referred to as one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world. Each year from September to October groups of butterflies, numbering in their thousands, making the astounding migration of up to 7 700km(4800 miles) from southern Canada to wintering grounds in California and central Mexico to escape the colder northern climate.
The reverse design features a bewilderingly large flutter of monarch butterflies in the process of settling on a tree branch in preparation to hibernate for the winter. The lower two thirds of the coin surface is covered with the scene, much like the butterflies have been known to engulf entire trees in this manner. Again a select number of butterflies have been colour treated with the distinctive golden browns and orange that the monarch butterfly is so well known for. The only legend appearing on the reverse is a small line discretely inscribed along the top-right hand rim that reads “1oz 999 Fine Silver”.
The remainder of the obligatory details have been relegated to the obverse of the coin. These identify the country of issue, date and denomination of the coin. Appearing in a clockwise direction along the rim, the obverse legend reads : “ELIZABETH II”, “NIUE”, “TWO DOLLARS” and “2016”. The legend encircles the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II, which anchors the obverse of the coin, in the middle.
The coin is struck only in a selectively colourized proof finish. Produced from 1oz of fine silver(.999 Fineness) to deliver a coin with a nominal diameter of 40mm(1.5748 inch). The coin is shipped in brightly printed booklet style display case that matches the reverse design of the coin. The coin carries a limited mintage of only 3000 coins and is being listed for US$80.00 each by the New Zealand Mint.
Overall a very welcome addition to this series that will fit in nicely with the first coin of the Great Migrations series of silver collector's coins. The full WNN review of the Zebra coin can be found HERE, and if you simply want to view the coins in the series that have been issued to date the have a look at the Great Migrations page in the WNN Gallery section by clicking HERE.