Niue showcases platypus on silver, gold commems

The platypus is indisputably the oddest animal in Australia, and arguably anywhere on earth.

The platypus is the subject of two new colorful 2022 precious metal commemorative coins from Niue, a Proof .999 fine silver dollar and Proof .9999 fine gold $100 coin.

The duck-billed platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is a semi-aquatic mammal endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania.

The bizarre appearance of this egg-laying, venomous, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal baffled European naturalists when they saw the first specimens from Australia — some even considered it an elaborate hoax.

The features of the platypus make it an important subject in the study of evolutionary biology and a recognizable and iconic symbol of Australia.

It is one of the few venomous mammals — the male platypus has a spur on the hind foot that delivers venom capable of causing severe pain to humans.

In traditional Australian culture, the platypus occupies a very special, almost sacred, role, and is one of the few animals that it is considered taboo to hunt or eat.

Coinage designs

Both coins carry a similar design, depicting on their reverse a pair of duck-billed platypuses in their natural habitat, which is colourised.

The naturalistic design depicts an adult duck-billed platypus diving into a river, while its partner watches from the bank. Meticulously and realistically rendered, the Frosted Cameo Proof animals are so detailed that individual hairs can be discerned.

The obverse of each coin carries the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of the late Queen Elizabeth II, in crowned profile facing right.

Both coins are packaged similarly, encapsulated inside a clamshell-style presentation case, lined with black velvet and satin, and protected by a full-color outer cardboard box. An individually numbered certificate of authenticity is included.

The silver coin weighs 31.135 grams and measures 38.6 millimeters in diameter.

It has a mintage limit of 1,000 pieces and retails for $119.95 each, with quantity discounts available.

The gold coin also weighs 31.135 grams and measures 38.6 millimeters in diameter.

It has a mintage limit of 150 pieces, and retails for $2,999.95.

For more details, or to order the coin, visit the distributor website, www.talismancoins.com.

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