2013 Polar Bear Coloured 1 Dollar $1 Polar Animals Series

August 6, 2013

Australia 2013 Polar Bear Coloured 1 Dollar

The first coloured dollar coin released in the Royal Australian Mint's Polar Animals series is the Polar Bear coin.

The majority of people will never have the opportunity to visit the Arctic Circle surrounding the North Pole to witness these magnificent animals in their natural habitat. Which is probably just as well - besides being cold and not very hospitable, I can't imagine being up close and personal to such a huge, heavy (anywhere from 340 to 544 kilograms), carnivorous animal - you've only to picture the fearsome Polar Bear character, Lorek Byrnison, from the movie Golden Compass and you'll probably agree.

Sadly, the most disturbing common thread amongst all the animals portrayed in this coin series is that populations and habitats are being threatened as a result of human intervention - the two biggest culprits being hunting and global warming. As the ice caps melt, it's harder and harder for the bears to find food, with the search for food bringing the Polar Bears into close contact with the sparse human populations that also call the Arctic Circle home. Which in turn leads to conflict - the Polar Bear more often than not being the loser.

However, there's hope for the Polar Bear population. Like most other threatened species, their numbers may be revived because of "breeding in captivity" programs in zoo's and animal sanctuaries around the world. While it's a controversial option, with exorbitant costs incurred to simulate animal habitats, "breeding in captivity" programs do allow threatened species to become more accessible to the general public, as well as these programs serving as an educational tool to enlighten us about their plight.

Which is why, after 13 years of hard work, Sea World Gold Coast Australia can be very proud to welcome it's first polar bear cub borne in captivity in May 2013. And that's a big accomplishment indeed, as the newborn is only the second ever polar bear cub to borne in Australia, the first being born in South Australia in 1985.

There's such interest by the general public that Sea World has installed 6 cameras and multiple TV monitors adjacent to the Polar Bear den affectionately called "Cub Kindy". The cub's daily activities and the magical relationship developing between mom "Liya" and her cub are being closely monitored. Plans are underway to present the pair to the general public in September 2013. It's also anticipated that the cub's name and sex will be revealed at the same time.

This coin is the first of six NCLT (non-circulating legal tender) one dollar coins in this series. Other coins in the Polar Series are the Weddell Seal dollar, Rockhopper Penguin dollar, Walrus dollar and the Humpback Whale dollar. These 1 dollar coins are 25 millimetres in diameter, weigh 9 grams and are struck on an aluminium bronze planchet. This reverse design depicting the Polar Bear has been designed by Aaron Baggio and is presented in pad-printed colour with a frosted uncirculated finish. The obverse depicts the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Polar Bear 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 1 dollar coin mintages table for the most up to date information.

Posted by harrisk at August 6, 2013 9:52 PM
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