Fifty Dollars Silver 1991 Alpine Ibex, Coin from Cook Islands - detailed information

Fifty Dollars Silver 1991 Alpine Ibex, Coin from Cook Islands
CoinFifty Dollars Silver 1991 Alpine Ibex

The Cook Islands, a sovereign state in free association with New Zealand, uses two official legal tender currencies. The New Zealand Dollar circulates in parallel with the local Cook Islands Dollar; at the same time, the government also authorises many legal tender coins in the Cook Islands Dollar currency for collector's purposes.

Collector coins are dedicated to historical or general popular culture themes not related to the country itself. Many of them are in standard bullion sizes, but the silver Fifty Dollars listed below are not; their weight is more than a half ounce but less than one ounce, and also less than that of a British Crown, even though the diameter is the same as the latter (hence, the coins are thinner).

This coin was issued as part of a Royal Mint twelve-coin set featuring Endangered Wildlife, and is dedicated to the Alpine Ibex.

The Alpine ibex (Capra ibex), also known as the steinbock, bouquetin, or simply ibex, is a species of wild goat that lives in the mountains of the European Alps. It is a sexually dimorphic species with larger males that carry larger, curved horns. Their coat colour is typically brownish grey. Alpine ibex tend to live in steep, rough terrain near the snow line. They are also social, although adult males and females segregate for most of the year, coming together only to mate. Four distinct groups exist; adult male groups, female-offspring groups, groups of young individuals, and mixed-sex groups.

During the breeding season, males fight for access to females, and use their long horns in agonistic behaviour. After being extirpated from most areas by the 19th century, the Alpine ibex was successfully reintroduced to parts of its historical range. All individuals living today descend from the stock in Gran Paradiso National Park in Aosta Valley and Piemonte (Italy), a national park created to help the ibex thrive. The ibex is the emblem of both the Gran Paradiso National Park, and the contiguous Vanoise National Park across the French border. The species is currently listed as of least concern by the IUCN, but went through a population bottleneck of less than 100 individuals during its near-extinction event. This has led to very low genetic diversity across populations.

MintRoyal Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage25,000
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Obverse
Cook Islands / Fifty Dollars Silver 1991 Alpine Ibex - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin shows the crowned bust of Queen Elizabeth II, facing right (her effigy known as the "Third Portrait"). The Queen is wearing the royal diadem which she wears on her way to and from the State Opening of Parliament, a pearl necklace and earrings.

Incuse in tiny letters on the neck truncation, the designer's initials RDM (for Raphael David Maklouf).

Around, the monarch's legend and the date: ELIZABETH II COOK ISLANDS 1991.

Obverse Inscription ELIZABETH II COOK ISLANDS 1991
Reverse
Cook Islands / Fifty Dollars Silver 1991 Alpine Ibex - reverse photo

The reverse of the coin shows an Alpine ibex in its natural habitat.

Around above left and right, the name of the series: ENDANGERED WILDLIFE.

Around below, the face value and denomination 50 DOLLARS.

Reverse Inscription ENDANGERED WILDLIFE 50 DOLLARS
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

Finish: proof.

Note that the Royal Mint announced mintage of 25,000 for each coin in the set but only 1,000 sets. At the same time, it does not appear that the coins were issued separately. It is probable that the 1,000 number applies only to sets that contain a Certificate of Authenticity.

Issued in Set
Endangered Wildlife Silver Proof Coin Collection 1991, mintage 1,000
12 coins: Alpine Ibex, Deer, Eagle Owl, Eastern Cougar, European Otter, Hummingbird, Jackass Penguin, Kangaroo, Lion, Peregrine Falcon, Dolphin, Persian Fallow Deer
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Fifty Dollars Silver 1991 Alpine Ibex: Details
CountryCook Islands
CurrencyCook Islands Dollar
Coin TypeFifty Dollars, Silver
Issued1991
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
EffigyQueen Elizabeth II - Third Portrait, by Raphael Maklouf
Face Value50 (x Dollar)
Total Mintage25,000
CurrentYes
Material0.925 Silver
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size38.610 mm
Mass19.200 g
OCC IDBYNK-EDDC-PVDY-EPQM
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Fifty Dollars Silver 1991 Alpine Ibex: Photos
ImageDetails
Alpine Ibex on Reverse of 1991 Cook Islands Silver Proof 50 Dollars
Copyright: Chards
Source
Fifty Dollars Silver 1991 Alpine Ibex: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsCook Islands KM# 120