2013 Rockhopper Penguin Coloured 1 Dollar $1 Polar Animals Series

July 23, 2013

Australia 2013 Rockhopper Penguin Coloured 1 Dollar

The second coloured 1 dollar coin in the very popular Polar Animals 6 coin series features a reverse of the Rockhopper Penguin and is issued by the Royal Australian Mint.

If you've seen Happy Feet 2, you'll be very familiar with Lovelace, the Rockhopper Penguin - a very laid-back, overweight, larger than life flamboyant character, with smokey blues-jazz vocals and so much charm. His distinguishing accessory is the plastic "6 pack" collar around his neck, which he's unaware is slowly strangling him. The core message of this film focuses on pollution, global warming and what we can do collectively to make our environment a better place to live in.

With this in mind, you might not be very surprised to learn that the Rockhopper Penguin population is in rapid decline due to pollution, global warming and commercial overfishing. They'll certainly be placed on the endangered list in the very near future if their numbers don't increase.

Another factor contributing to their declining numbers is that the majority of the breeding season's first laid eggs usually don't hatch after incubation, with those chicks that do hatch invariably dying within a few days of hatching - eaten by artic birds such as skuas, petrels and Dominican gulls. Other predators of the Rockhopper Penguins are Blue sharks, leopard and fur seals.

Despite the larger than life character portrayed in Happy Feet 2, you also might be surprised to learn that the Rockhopper Penguin is the world's smallest penguin, only around 50 centimeters tall, although very similar in appearance to most penguins - they have a large head, short thick neck, short wedge-shaped tail, little flipper-like wings and webbed feet. And like all penguins, their body colouring is "countershaded" which means they have a lighter colour on their belly and a darker colour on their back, camouflaging them from their predators when they're in the ocean.

However, there's absolutely no mistaking their very distinctive features of bright orange-red bill and yellow feather plumes fanning out and framing their bright red eyes.

As their name suggests, Rockhopper Penguins live amongst clumps of grasses called tussocks, as well as in small caves and crevices, and on rocky slopes. And it's in this pose hopping around on the rocks that designer Aaron Baggio portrays two Rockhopper Penguins on a reverse with a frosted uncirculated finish. The design is struck on a 9 gram aluminium bronze planchet and is a standard 25 millimetre 1 dollar coin with the obverse portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley.

As mentioned earlier, this coin is the second of six NCLT (non-circulating legal tender) coins in this series -others in this Polar Series are the Polar Bear dollar, Humpback Whale dollar, Walrus 1 dollar and the Weddell Seal dollar. This coloured series follows the popular Animals of the Zoo Series of 2012, the Air Series of 2011, Land Series 2008-9 and 2006-7 coloured Ocean series.

The Rockhopper Penguin coin retails at $15 and is presented in a colourful collector's card. Mintage is unlimited at this time and will be determined by collector demand. See the 2013 issues and mintages table for the most up to date information.

Posted by harrisk at July 23, 2013 7:52 PM
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