The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most iconic natural wonders of
Australia, and it is now being honored with a new coin.
Australian coin firm Downies, in conjunction with Niue, has released
the Proof .999 fine silver $10 coin commemorating Australia’s Great
Barrier Reef, one of the world’s great natural wonders.
Renowned for the variety and color of its corals and sponges, the
reef supports an astonishing array of wildlife, including 1,500
species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusk. Visitors can see whales,
dolphins, and, if lucky, extremely rare species such as the giant clam
and the green sea turtle.
A plethora of underwater creatures swim amid a forest of coral on
the 5-ounce coin.
Denizens of the Great Barrier Reef, depicted in ultra high relief
highlighted with selective 24-karat gold plating, include (clockwise
from 12:00): green sea turtle, angelfish, hammerhead shark, starfish
(sea star), grouper, octopus, manta ray, nautilus, lionfish, and clownfish.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the
world, comprising over 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands and
stretching for 1,600 miles (2,600 kilometers), covering an area of
approximately 133,000 square miles (344,400 square kilometers). The
reef is located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland, in the
warm, tropical waters of northeast Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef supports an incredible diversity of life, and
was selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.
Collectors’ Clearinghouse: What caused the
doubled letters on Douglass quarter dollars? Also in
this issue, Wendell Wolka finds more questions while answering another
in his "Collecting Paper" column.
A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef
Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as
overfishing and tourism. Other environmental pressures to the reef and
its ecosystem include impaired water quality from runoff, climate
change accompanied by mass coral bleaching, and cyclic outbreaks of
the harmful crown-of-thorns starfish.
Specifications, ordering details
The obverse depicts Queen Elizabeth II, in crowned profile facing right.
This portrait showing the queen wearing a tiara and pearl earrings
was executed by the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley. The legend ELIZABETH
II, the date of issue and denomination also appear, while the legend 5
OZ 999 SILVER guarantees the weight and purity.
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The coin is encapsulated inside a polished, solid wood,
clamshell-style presentation case lined with black velvet, which is
protected by a full color illustrated outer box. An individually
numbered certificate of authenticity is included.
The coin weighs 157.6 grams, measures 65 millimeters in diameter and
has a mintage limit of 500 pieces.
American distributor Talisman Coins offers the coin for $329.95 U.S.
To order the coin, visit the distributor website.