Arts / New coins feature extinct Aussie animals

Plated silver proof coin with Tasmanian Tiger, $5.

THE Royal Australian Mint has launched new black nickel and selective gold plated coins featuring native Australian animals, which will preview at this year’s Berlin World Money Fair.

Mint CEO Ross MacDiarmid said the series showcases the Mint’s excellence in coin manufacturing, saying, “The Echoes of Australian Fauna” series highlights the Mint’s expertise in creating evocative and engaging coin designs.

The black nickel plate, he explained, accentuates the primordial nature of the landscape while the selectively gold plate, alternating with the black nickel, provides a contrast showcasing these unique and elusive creatures.

The limited production series will feature three nickel plated and selectively gold plated fine silver proof coins and the reverse of each coin will feature artwork of a different Australian animal including the extinct Tasmanian Tiger, the extinct Lesser Bilby and the Night Parrot.

Plated silver proof coin with Lesser Bilby, $5.

The obverse of the coins feature the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as sculpted by Ian Rank-Broadley.

“Benjamin”, the last known Tasmanian tiger, died on September 7, 1936 at Hobart Zoo. The Lesser Bilby was an inhabitant of Australia’s driest deserts, and was recorded as a living animal on just a handful of occasions between its discovery in 1887 and its extinction in the ’50s. The Night Parrot is a small ground-dwelling nocturnal parrot only found in Australia. Until very recently it was thought to be extinct – with no confirmed sighting of it for more than hundred years.

All of the coins in the series are Australian legal tender and are available in a limited mintage of 5000, retailing for $130 (AUD).

The Tasmanian Tiger coin is the first of the series available for purchase on March 4, the Lesser Bilby coin will be available on May 6 and the Night Parrot will be available on July 15 from or 1300 652 020.


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