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

Fifty Dollars Silver 1991 Lion, Coin from Cook Islands
CoinFifty Dollars Silver 1991 Lion

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 Lion.

The lion (Panthera leo) is a large felid (cat) of the genus Panthera native mainly to Africa. It has a muscular, deep-chested body, short, rounded head, round ears, and a hairy tuft at the end of its tail. It is sexually dimorphic; adult male lions have a prominent mane. With a typical head-to-body length of 184 to 208 cm they are larger than females at 160 to 184 cm. It is a social species, forming groups called prides. A lion pride consists of a few adult males, related females and cubs. Groups of female lions usually hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates. The lion is an apex and keystone predator; although some lions scavenge when opportunities occur and have been known to hunt humans, the species typically does not.

Typically, the lion inhabits grasslands and savannas, but is absent in dense forests. It is usually more diurnal than other wild cats, but when persecuted, it adapts to being active at night and at twilight. During the Neolithic period, the lion ranged throughout Africa, Southeast Europe, and Western and South Asia, but it has been reduced to fragmented populations in sub-Saharan Africa and one population in western India. It has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1996 because populations in African countries have declined by about 43% since the early 1990s. Lion populations are untenable outside designated protected areas. Although the cause of the decline is not fully understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are the greatest causes for concern.

MintRoyal Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage25,000
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Obverse
Cook Islands / Fifty Dollars Silver 1991 Lion - 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 Lion - reverse photo

The reverse of the coin shows an African Lion 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 Lion: 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 IDQRAP-EBNC-WLAR-EYJD
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Fifty Dollars Silver 1991 Lion: Photos
ImageDetails
Lion on Reverse of 1991 Cook Islands Silver Proof 50 Dollars
Copyright: Chards
Source
Obverse of 1991 Cook Islands Silver Proof 50 Dollars
Copyright: Chards
Source
Fifty Dollars Silver 1991 Lion: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsCook Islands KM# 122