The New Zealand Mint has released, what is expected to be the penultimate instalment in their Kings of the Continents silver coin series. The sixth coin overall for the series has crowned the Saltwater Crocodile as Australia's dominant beast.
The collector's coin series portrays, as the name suggests, some of the most dominant and revered animals on each continent. Previous entries have recognised the African Lion, Europe's Grey Wolf, the King Cobra from Asia, the North American Grizzly Bear and the Jaguar for South America. Adding the Australian Saltwater Crocodile to the mix only leaves Antarctica unaccounted for so far.
Saltwater Crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus), or "salties" as Australians affectionately refer to them, are the largest of all living reptiles. Males of this species can reach sizes up to 6m in length and exceed weights of 1,000 kg. Due to its size, aggression and distribution, Saltwater Crocodiles are regarded as the most dangerous living crocodilian.
As its name implies, this species of crocodile can live in marine environments, but usually resides in saline mangrove swamps, estuaries, lagoons, and lower stretches of rivers. They are excellent swimmers and have often been spotted far out at sea.
The reverse of the coin portrays a Saltwater Crocodile, with it's large jaws wide open displaying it's intimidating and jagged array of teeth. The background depicts a typical estuary environment, where these predators can often be found in the wild. As with the rest of the series, the crocodile is fully colourized while the background being engraved.
The obverse is the standard New Zealand Mint obverse design featuring the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II. The legend is inscribed along the rim in a clockwise direction and reads : “ELIZABETH II”, “NIUE”, “TWO DOLLARS” and “2017”.
The coin is shipped inside a printed vanity cover which houses a black velvet display box, in which the coin is nestled. Accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity the coin is on offer from the New Zealand Mint's website for US$80.00 each. The 40mm(1.5748 inch) coin is only available in proof and has a limited mintage of 5000 coins. Struck from 1oz of pure .999 Fineness silver, the piece is issued under the authority of Niue with a denomination of $2.
Overall another nice addition to what has turned out to be a rather pleasing series thus far.