|Coin||Fifty Dollars Silver 1991 Eagle Owl|
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 - such as this coin - 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 Eagle Owl.
The American (North and South America) horned owls and the Old World eagle-owls make up the genus Bubo, at least as traditionally described. The genus name Bubo is Latin for the Eurasian eagle-owl.
This genus contains 20 species that are found in many parts of the world. Some of the largest living Strigiformes are in Bubo. Traditionally, only owls with ear-tufts were included in this genus, but that is no longer the case.
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 of issue: ELIZABETH II COOK ISLANDS 1991.
The reverse of the coin shows an Eagle Owl perched on a branch, looking left.
Around above left and right, the name of the series: ENDANGERED WILDLIFE.
Around below, the face value and denomination 50 DOLLARS.
||ENDANGERED WILDLIFE 50 DOLLARS
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.
|Included 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