This beautiful 1 Oz Silver coin is the first release in the new “Australia at Night” series, dedicated to some of the most fascinating nocturnal animals. In this edition – the Platypus. The coin has a stunning relief, has a beautiful design, with a Black Proof quality.
The platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), sometimes referred to as the duck-billed platypus, is a semiaquatic egg-laying mammal endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania. Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five extant species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. The animal is the sole living representative of its family (Ornithorhynchidae) and genus (Ornithorhynchus), though a number of related species appear in the fossil record. The first scientists to examine a preserved platypus body (in 1799) judged it a fake, made of several animals sewn together. The unusual appearance of this egg-laying, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal baffled European naturalists when they first encountered it, with some considering it an elaborate hoax. It is one of the few species of venomous mammals: the male platypus has a spur on the hind foot that delivers a venom capable of causing severe pain to humans. The unique features of the platypus make it an important subject in the study of evolutionary biology and a recognisable and iconic symbol of Australia; it has appeared as a mascot at national events and features on the reverse of the Australian twenty-cent coin. The platypus is the animal emblem of the state of New South Wales..
The reverse of the coin depicts a beautiful swimming Platypus in the dark night waters, surrounded by vegetation. On top of the reverse, the inscriptions: “AUSTRALIA AT NIGHT” – the name of the series and “PLATYPUS” – the name of the coin. The obverse of the coin features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the inscriptions: “ELIZABETH II” – the name of the Queen, “NIUE” – the issuing country, “2018” – the year of issue and “ONE DOLLAR” – the face value and “1OZ 999 SILVER” – the weight of the coin and the fineness of the Silver.