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During the first major coin show of the year, the Florida United Numismatists Convention in Orlando, Florida to be held from January 8-11, the second coin in the MCM exclusive Florida Natives series will be launched. Convention attendees will have the first opportunity to see and purchase the coins.
The new coin is a selectively colorized silver proof coin which depicts the Florida Panther. It was struck by the Perth Mint in Western Australia on behalf of ModernCoinMart, which is the exclusive worldwide distributor for the coin’s entire limited mintage of just 1,000 pieces. This coin was struck under the legal authority of the Government of Tuvalu and is made of 99.9% fine silver.
The coin’s reverse depicts a frosted silver image of a Florida panther against a colorized background that includes a fallen oak tree that the animal is standing on and saw palmetto, which is widely found in Southern Florida. Another key element is the official FUN logo, a map of Florida overlaid onto a map of the United States.
The obverse of the coin portrays the Ian Rank-Broadley- designed effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the coin’s denomination of $1, the 2015 year-date, and the coin’s weight and fineness. A new effigy of the queen will be released soon and will begin appearing on UK coins in 2015, but the nations of the British Commonwealth do not all use the same effigy that appears on UK coins. Some use previous effigies and Canada uses its own design.
The Panther coin’s mintage is 2,500 fewer than that of the 2014 American Alligator coin that was released at the January 2014 FUN convention, a very substantial reduction which is sure to enhance the coin’s appeal for collectors. The specific mintage level is also a tribute to the fact that these animals are one of the world’s most endangered species, and was done in recognition of the habitat of Southern Florida and the Florida United Numismatists organization.
During the convention both NGC-graded and ungraded coins will be available for purchase at a discount off regular prices, and all product options will include a Certificate of Authenticity. Each certificate is specially hand signed by the coin’s designer, Chuck Daughtrey, who is the Art and Marketing Director for ModernCoinMart, and who has designed several other world coins and silver rounds for MCM.
The NGC-graded coins will include a special FUN convention label indicating the coins were released at the show. Any remaining inventory of coins will be made available for sale on the Monday following the convention at the MCM website. Anyone interested in the coin that is unable to attend FUN can sign up now on the MCM website to be notified when the coins go on sale on January 12.
The Florida Panther (Puma concolor) is a subspecies of cougar and has been recognized as Florida’s official state animal since 1982, but is also one of the most endangered mammals on Earth. They once flourished in woodlands and swamps around the Southeast, but their habitat is rapidly disappearing.
Panthers historically ranged across the entire Southeastern United States. Today, the breeding population of Florida panthers (100-180 adults and sub-adults) is found only in the southern tip of Florida.
These animals live within an area that includes Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades National Park and Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.
Panthers are solitary and territorial animals that travel hundreds of miles within their home ranges. They are most active between dusk and dawn and rest during the heat of the day. Panthers communicate through vocalizations that can be described as chirps, peeps, whistles, purrs and growls.
When panthers were named a federally endangered species in 1967, a mere population of 12 to 20 remained in a single, isolated breeding population at the tip of Florida. In Florida, their threats are mainly loss of habitat, collision with motor vehicles and lack of human tolerance to live with a large predator.
Florida Panthers are best described as large, tan cats. Their bodies are mainly covered in beige fur, except for their whitish-gray belly and chest. Black markings on the tip of the tail, ears and around the snout differentiate them. Florida panthers grow to be about 6 or 7 feet long with the males being bigger than the females.
Panthers are carnivores and so are skilled at hunting. They will live about 12 years in the wild, but are very susceptible to disease and genetic disorders due to the small population left in Florida.
The Florida Panther coin is sure to appeal to wildlife enthusiasts, modern world coin collectors and Florida residents. The coin’s striking depiction of the animal, the certificate signed by the coin’s designer and the extremely limited mintage of 1,000 coins all add to the coin’s allure.
||Louis is an award-winning numismatic journalist and writer specializing on modern coins. He has been writing a weekly column for CoinWeek since May 2011 called “The Coin Analyst,” which focuses primarily on modern U.S. and world coins and developments at major world mints. In August 2015 he received the Numismatic Literary Guild’s award for Best Website Column for “The Coin Analyst.” He is also a contributor to several magazines, including Coin World, where he writes a bimonthly feature;The Numismatist, the American Numismatic Association’s monthly publication, where he writes a monthly column on modern world coins; and American Hard Assets. He began writing about coins in 2009. He is a founding member of the Modern Coin Forum hosted by ModernCoinMart and has written articles for MCM since 2014. He has collected classic and modern U.S. and world coins since he was about 10 and first joined the ANA in the 1970’s. He was previously a congressional relations specialist and policy analyst at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress and a syndicated columnist and news analyst on international politics and national security for a wide variety of publications. He has been writing professionally since the early 1980s.|