Editor's note: The following is the second of a multi-part Coin World series about the prominence of bison on coins from all over the world prepared by Jeff Starck for the August 2014 monthly edition of Coin World.
Read other posts in the series:
The American bison and its worldly relatives are increasingly popular topics for new world coins, with a bevy of bison coins issued in the past three years.
When the Royal Canadian Mint issues two coins showing bison in its Aug. 5 launch, it will bring to 14 the tally of Canadian coins featuring bison in their design in the past three years.
From a series of silver $20 coins to precious metal versions and bullion releases, just about every scene imaginable showing bison has been seen on recent collector coins.
Canada is not alone in issuing a bevy of bison coins in that period, with Belarus, Niue, Poland and Tuvalu, among others, showcasing the stalwart of the American Plains or its relatives, Canada’s wood bison and the European bison.
Fighting the good fight
A dramatic display of strength, as bulls battle for supremacy, is captured on the reverse of a Proof .999 fine silver 20-ruble coin from Belarus.
Synthetic crystals substitute for the eyes on this coin. The bull on the right has a forepaw raised, representing the action scene unfolding on the coin.
European bison males (bulls) often lock horns in fights for dominance and an opportunity to mate with female bison (cows).