Australia’s Great Barrier Reef stars on silver $10 coin with selective gold plating

Niue and Downies issue commemorative coin together
By , Coin World
Published : 02/17/18
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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.

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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.

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