Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tasmanian Tiger Kicks Off New "Extinct And Endangered" Series of Silver Coins

The perfect subject for a full-colour coin, this outstanding new Perth Mint-struck precious metal Proof forms a dramatic tribute to one of Australia’s most distinctive, most mysterious, and most famous creatures – the extinct Tasmanian Tiger.

Tuvalu 2011 $1 Tasmanian Tiger 1oz Silver Proof

With a large, wolf-like head, tiger-like striped coat and wombat like backwards-facing pouch, the Thylacinus cynocephalus (Tasmanian Tiger) is among the most intriguing of Australia’s great variety of exotic native fauna. Rivalling in reputation such wonders of nature as the platypus, kangaroo and koala, this unusual creature virtually disappeared from the Australian mainland around 2,000 to 3,000 years ago. At the time of European Settlement, it was found in significant numbers only in Tasmania. Hunting, disease and habitat destruction all had a major impact on the Tassie Tiger population, and the last known thylacine died in the Hobart Zoo in 1936.

The source of constant fascination in the 75 years since the demise of the last known thylacine’ – with a large number of unconfirmed sightings of this legendary Aussie creature ensuring ongoing publicity – the highly distinctive appearance of the Tasmanian Tiger has been perfectly captured by The Perth Mint upon this stunning legal tender coin. Crafted to the height of Proof quality from .999 silver and measuring 40.60mm, and then superbly enhanced with full-colour, there is no doubt that the 2011 $1 Tasmanian Tiger 1oz Silver Proof will provoke massive interest across the globe. Indeed, with demand for full-colour Aussie animal coins from The Perth Mint at truly explosive levels, there is every reason to believe that a swift sell-out of the limited mintage of just 5,000 is inevitable.

Set within a stunning birds-eye maple inset lacquered case within a colourful thematic outer box and accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

Sure to be as hard-to-find in the future as the Tassie Tiger itself, don’t miss the chance to capture this unique precious metal Proof at the affordable Official Issue Price!

A unique, instantly recognisable nocturnal marsupial, the thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus; Greek for ‘dog-headed pouched one’) is one of Australia’s most remarkable native creatures – and one of the most famous.

Native to Tasmania, the Australian mainland and Papua New Guinea, the modern thylacine emerged around 4 million years ago. Distinguished by a strong striped pattern across its back, hence the name, the Tasmanian Tiger was well known to the indigenous peoples of Australia. Hunted for food, and forced to compete with the dingo, the Tassie Tiger is believed to have been virtually extinct on continental Australia approximately 2,000 years ago. By the time of European Settlement, this distinctive dog-like creature was found almost exclusively in what was then known as Van Diemen’s Land.

The impact of humans was key to the devastation of the Tasmanian Tiger population, with disease, hunting and incursion into natural habitat all having an impact, and, as early as the early 1900s, efforts were being made to save the Tiger from extinction. Alas, it was too little, too late, and the last known Tasmanian Tiger in the wild was killed by a farmer in 1933. Never surviving very long in captivity, and only ever breeding in captivity on one occasion, the last known surviving Tassie Tiger died exactly 75 years ago in the Hobart Zoo in 1936 on September the 7th – the date upon which National Threatened Species Day is celebrated.

Although there have been a huge number of sightings of the Tasmanian Tiger in the three-quarters of a century since, and massive rewards posted for either confirmation of the species’ continued existence or the capture of a live specimen, no satisfactory proof has been provided. The continued speculation, however, combined with the Tiger’s unique beauty and status as a Tasmanian and Australian cultural icon, will ensure that, extinct or not, the Tassie Tiger will never die.

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