A new Proof .999 fine silver $10 Australian Coin was produced by a firm called Downies for the country of Niue, honouring the Great Barrier Reef. The reef is known for colourful corals and sponges. It is home to 1,500 species of fishes and 4,000 types of mollusk. Various whales, dolphins, the giant clam and the green sea turtle are spotted here.
Different underwater creatures swimming in the Great Barrier Reef, like a green sea turtle, angelfish, hammerhead shark, starfish (sea star), grouper, octopus, manta ray, nautilus, lionfish, and clownfish are depicted in high relief on the coin. The 5-ounce coin also features 24-karat gold plating to highlight certain elements of the design.
The Great Barrier Reef comprises of more than 3,000 separate reefs and 900 islands. It is spread across 2,600 km, covering an area of almost 133,000 square miles, making it the biggest reef system in the world. The lies in the warm tropical waters of the Coral Sea Bed on the coast of Queensland. It was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Protects the reef from the impact of overfishing and tourism. It also faces other environmental problems like poor water quality from runoff, climate change, mass coral bleaching, and regular outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish.
The obverse features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Other inscriptions include ELIZABETH II, the date of issue, denomination, and 5 OZ 999 SILVER.
The 157.6 grams coin has a mintage limit of 500 pieces. It comes inside a polished wooden, clamshell-like presentation case lined with black velvet. This case is packed in a full color illustrated outer box. It is also accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity.
Images courtesy of Downies.