|Coin||Silver Ounce 2020 Montserrat Oriole|
Montserrat is a British overseas territory in the Caribbean which uses the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$) as its currency; it is the common currency of six independent states and two British Overseas Territories. The EC$ has both common and national issues. All common circulating coins are issued under the authority of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and have no issuing country specified on them. Separately, each member country can also strike coins bearing its national symbols; these coins are legal tender in all members states, and are usually commemorative or bullion not intended for general circulation. Most of the member states are also members of the (British) Commonwealth of Nations and share the same monarch with the United Kingdom, so that the effigy of the monarch is displayed on the coins and banknotes of the currency.
Montserrat has authorised some foreign mints to strike coins under its issuing authority for collector's purposes. Some of these are in popular bullion formats, such as one troy ounce (1 oz) of silver.
This coin is part of the third edition of the Eastern Caribbean 8 (EC8) series of premium bullion coins by the Scottsdale Mint, which has a new annual design for each country of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The 2020 design for Montserrat features its national bird, the Oriole.
The Montserrat oriole (Icterus oberi) is a medium-sized black-and-yellow icterid (the same family as many blackbirds, meadowlarks, cowbirds, grackles, and others, including the New World orioles). It inhabits the Centre Hills and South Soufriere Hills Important Bird Areas on the island of Montserrat in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, and is the national bird of this British territory. Much of its habitat was destroyed by deforestation, Hurricane Hugo and the volcanic activity between 1995 and 1997.
The obverse of the coins shows the crowned mature head of Queen Elizabeth II facing right (her effigy known as the "Fourth Portrait"). The Queen wears the "Girls of Great Britain and Ireland" diamond tiara, a wedding gift from Queen Mary (Her Majesty's grandmother) in 1947 - which she also has on the Machin and the Gottwald portraits.
Normally, the artist's initials IRB (for Ian Rank-Broadley) are below the portrait when it is used; however, they are not displayed here.
The effigy is surrounded by a laurel wreath. The central circle has a frosted finish.
In the rim, within a plain border, around above the name of the issuing authority: EASTERN CARIBBEAN CENTRAL BANK. Around below, the legend of the monarch, QUEEN ELIZABETH II.
Facing outward, around below left the precious metal content of the coin: 1 OZ .999 SILVER (one troy ounce of 99.9% silver); around below right, the face value TWO DOLLARS.
The reverse of the coin depicts a Montserrat oriole bird perched on a branch. In the background, the Soufrière Hills volcano, whose eruption in 1995 devastated much of the bird's habitat, and also destroyed Plymouth, the capital city of the territory - which is now abandoned.
Around above, the name of the country: MONTSERRAT; above the bird, the date of issue 2020. Around below right, the inscription MONTSERRAT ORIOLE.
Finish: bullion proof-like.
Packaging: in capsule, with 5 coins in a sealed blister strip.
Coins issued in the Eastern Caribbean 8 (EC8) series in 2020 include:
- Anguilla, 1 oz Gold, Coat of Arms of Anguilla, 2020
- Anguilla, 1 oz Silver, Coat of Arms of Anguilla, 2020
- Antigua and Barbuda, 1 oz Gold, Rum Runner, 2020
- Antigua and Barbuda, 1 oz Silver, Rum Runner, 2020
- Dominica, 1 oz Gold, Hummingbird, 2020
- Dominica, 1 oz Silver, Hummingbird, 2020
- Grenada, 1 oz Gold, Caribbean Reef Octopus, 2020
- Grenada, 1 oz Silver, Caribbean Reef Octopus, 2020
- Montserrat, 1 oz Gold, Montserrat Oriole, 2020
- Montserrat, 1 oz Silver, Montserrat Oriole, 2020
- Saint Kitts and Nevis, 1 oz Gold, Siege of Brimstone Hill, 2020
- Saint Kitts and Nevis, 1 oz Silver, Siege of Brimstone Hill, 2020
- Saint Lucia, 1 oz Gold, Whiptail Lizard, 2020
- Saint Lucia, 1 oz Silver, Whiptail Lizard, 2020
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 1 oz Gold, Pax et Justitia, 2020
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 1 oz Silver, Pax et Justitia, 2020