|Coin||Silver Ounce 2015 Bull Ant|
The Tuvaluan Dollar is the currency of Tuvalu - a small nation in the Pacific Ocean. Tuvalu has never had banknotes of its own, and has been issuing coins since 1976; these circulate together with coins of the Australian Dollar, which is also legal tender in the country, and to which the Tuvaluan Dollar is pegged.
The Australian Perth Mint issues a large variety of non-circulating legal tender coins under the authority of Tuvalu. Some of these are in the silver ounce format (abbreviated as 1 oz). Strictly speaking, they are not bullion as they are priced at a premium and are targeted at collectors who appreciate them for their artistic merit and collectable value and not just for their precious metal content.
This coin is part of the Deadly and Dangerous series featuring native Australian animals, and shows a Bull Ant.
The Mint says about it:
"The tenth coin in the Australian Deadly and Dangerous series features one of Australia’s most aggressive creatures, the Bull Ant. These large ants grow up to 40 millimetres long and have characteristically large eyes and a potent venomous sting.
The ants deliver painful stings and are highly aggressive, chasing down intruders of any size if they come too close to their nest. They sting by gripping the intruder with their mandibles (jaws), curling their abdomen to reveal the sting and injecting the victim with venom. Often multiple stings are delivered.
The coin is presented in a high-gloss timber display case and shipper emblazoned with the warning DANGER, and is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity."
||Mint Mark||No mint mark
The obverse 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.
In tiny letters below the head, the artist's initials IRB (for Ian Rank-Broadley).
Around the effigy is the monarch's legend and the date: QUEEN ELIZABETH II 1 DOLLAR TUVALU 2015.
The reverse of the coin features a coloured Australian Bull Ant resting on a leaf, with other bull ants in the background.
Above, the inscription AUSTRALIA’S BULL ANT. Around below left, the precious metal content 1oz 999 SILVER (one troy ounce of 99.9% silver).
The face value and date of issue are on the obverse.
||AUSTRALIA’S BULL ANT 1oz 999 SILVER
Finish: proof, coloured.
Packaging: in timber presentation box with illustrated outer shipper, and a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.
Perth Mint Item ID: 15X86AAA
Issue price: AUS $ 99.00, US$ 70.82
The mint calls the coin a "Commissioned Product" with no further information on who commissioned it; uncharacteristically (probably reflecting this fact), there is no mint mark on the coins in the series either. There is no available primary information on this series; it seems that the coins are commissioned by the Australian company Downies, with the silver coins being struck by the Perth Mint and the gold coins in the series (some with the same designs) by PAMP or CIT..
Coins in the Deadly and Dangerous series are issued for a number of counties and include:
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Red-Back Spider 2006
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Great White Shark 2007
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Blue-Ringed Octopus 2008
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Saltwater Crocodile 2009
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Eastern Brown Snake 2010
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Box Jellyfish 2011
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Red-Back Spider (Russian version) 2011
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Great White Shark (Russian version) 2011
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Blue-Ringed Octopus (Russian version) 2011
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Saltwater Crocodile (Russian version) 2011
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Eastern Brown Snake (Russian version) 2011
- 0.5 g Gold, Tokelau, Red-Back Spider 2012
- 0.5 g Gold, Tokelau, Great White Shark 2012
- 0.5 g Gold, Tokelau, Blue-Ringed Octopus 2012
- 0.5 g Gold, Tokelau, Saltwater Crocodile 2012
- 0.5 g Gold, Tokelau, Eastern Brown Snake 2012
- 0.5 g Gold, Tokelau, Box Jellyfish 2012
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Funnel Web Spider 2012
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake 2013
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Spider-Hunting Scorpion 2014
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Bull Ant 2015
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Death Adder 2016
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Bull Shark 2017
- 1 oz Gold, Niue, Red-Back Spider 2018
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Dingo 2018
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Lionfish 2019
- 5 oz Gold, Niue, Red-Back Spider 2020
- 5 oz Silver, Niue, Red-Back Spider 2020
- 1 oz Gold, Niue, Tarantula 2020
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Tarantula 2020
- 1 oz Gold, Niue, Stingray 2021
- 1 oz Silver, Tuvalu, Stingray 2021