The caribou is the subject of the latest Great Migrations coin from the New Zealand Mint. A series where previous coins have featured the Monarch Butterfly as well as Zebra.
The series, which in now on it's third issue, shifts it's focus away from the individual animal in favour of one of nature's impressive wonders. When every year millions of animals start their great annual migration, covering vast distances in search for food, mating partners or shelter.
Each year, when spring approaches, thousands of caribou in North America start their long northbound journey towards the Arctic. This difficult journey is the longest land migration in North America and the caribou cover distances up to 2,500 kilometers (1,600 miles) a year.
The reason for the caribou migrating is to get access to plentiful food, to bear their calves in safety and to find relief from summer insects. Later with autumn arriving, the herds start their return journey back south.
The reverse design depicts a seemingly endless herd of grazing caribou set against a stark snowy foreground. As with the rest of the series, the majority of the coin is engraved with a proof finish save for a select number of the animals that received a colour finish. The words “1oz 999 Fine Silver” can be found along the top right rim, almost hidden amongst the herd in reverse proof.
Nothing new on the obverse as we find the standard Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. Standard fair for coins from the New Zealand Mint. It is interesting to note that the coin is dated for 2017 though, making it the first 2017 issue for the series. As always the legend denotes the ruler, country of issue and denomination along with the date of issue in a clockwise direction along the raised rim. “ELIZABETH II”, “NIUE”, “TWO DOLLARS” and “2017”.
The coin is issued in the book-style display case that the New Zealand Mint has become known for. Both the outside and interior of the box is printed with what looks to be hundreds if not thousands of caribou set during their migration.
The coin itself is struck from 1oz of pure(.999 Fineness) silver to a 40mm(1.5748 inch) proof round. Only 3000 of these coins will be struck and they will be issued with a standard certificate of authenticity. The coin can be ordered directly from the New Zealand Mint's website for US80.00 each, or from your trusted international coin dealer.