10 Coolest Animal Coins to Own
- American Eagles are among the most popular coins in the world to feature an animal.
- The Chinese Panda coins series features a new portrait each year.
- The French Rooster is not the official symbol of France, but was still featured on a series of collectible coins.
Coin collecting is enjoyed by many people worldwide as a pastime that offers the chance for worthwhile investing while learning about history and science. Collectible coinage can have value because of Precious Metals composition, of course, but many coins are desirable because of their design, as well. Animals have been depicted on currency since money was first invented and continue to appear in the artwork of sought-after coins to this day. From American Eagles to the Australian Koala, here are the 10 coolest animal coins to have in your collection.
- Chinese Panda Silver and Gold Coins
Since the official mints of sovereign nations issue many coins, animals native to those countries are frequently on display. This practice is true for the People’s Republic of China. Each year, a new Chinese Panda coin is issued in both Silver and Gold. This bullion series is exceedingly popular around the world due to global fascination with the giant panda. Collecting these coins is fun because each year, a new portrait of pandas in their natural habitat appears on the reverse. These annual updates lead some enthusiasts to acquire the latest version every single year. In addition to the beautiful panda design, the coins are made from either .999 fine Silver or .999 fine Gold and, since 2016, are available in several metric sizes. The 30 gram size is one of the most popular since it is comparable in weight to the 1 troy ounce bullion coins produced by other countries.
- Australian Koala 1 oz Silver Coins
The continent of Australia is home to hundreds of native wildlife species, many of which belong to the marsupial family. These animals are distinctive because they have external pouches that play a significant role in developing offspring before they are born into the world. The Australian Koala coins pay tribute to one of the most well-known marsupials from Down Under. A new series, with an original koala design, is issued each year by The Perth Mint in Western Australia. Made from 1 oz of .999 fine Silver bullion, each piece has a guaranteed face value of 1 Australian dollar, although the Precious Metal is worth much more. Because the koala design changes each year, older releases from this series are worth a premium to collectors. The 2010 edition, which features a koala perched on a tree branch while eating gum leaves, sometimes sells for four times the current spot price of Silver.
- 20 Franc French Rooster Gold Coins
The Gallic Rooster may be an “unofficial” symbol for France, but it is recognized as an emblem used on the country’s flags, furniture and, of course, currency. French Rooster Gold coins are gorgeous, with a detailed portrait of the animal on the reverse and a bust of the official national symbol of France, Marianne, on the obverse. This 20 Franc Gold piece was produced at the Paris Mint from 1899-1914, adding historical value since the coins are no longer minted. High-grade coins dated 1909 and 1911 are especially sought after since they are more difficult to find. 20 Franc Gold French Roosters contain .1867 oz of Gold and capture the cavalier spirit of the Third French Republic, established in 1870 after Napoleon III was defeated.
- Silver American Eagles
First appearing in 1986, Silver American Eagles are one of the most desirable investment-grade bullion coins in the world. Many collectors consider this series to be one of the most alluring designs ever created by the U.S. Mint. While investors everywhere appreciate the guaranteed quality and purity extended by the U.S. government, the portrait of the bald eagle used on the coin is the main attraction. The American bald eagle was made the official national bird of the United States in 1782. This creature was chosen due to its majestic good looks, long lifespan and seemingly boundless strength. Gold American Eagles are also highly prized, but many collectors make it a point to own at least one Silver Eagle from each year of the series.
- British Year of the Dog Silver Coins
Statistics show that dogs are the most popular pet to own in both the United States and the United Kingdom. One of the coolest coins for dog lovers on either side of the Atlantic is the British Silver Year of the Dog. With a limited mintage of 138,888 and produced only in 2018, this limited edition currency is destined to be a popular choice for many years. Celebrating the Chinese Year of the Dog, each coin is minted with a lovable terrier on the reverse, beaming with energy and playfulness. You can even see an imprint of the dog's nose in the background. Made from .999 fine Silver, these dog coins have value to both investors and numismatic collectors.
- Isle of Man Gold Cats
Exceeded only by our furry canine friends, cats are the second-most popular pet in the U.S. and U.K. The Isle of Man, a British dependency located in the Irish Sea, has minted the Gold Cat series since 1998. A different breed of cat is featured each year. In addition to the beautiful, unique cat portrait featured annually, these coins are struck four times to create an exquisite Proof finish, with a frosted relief design framed by a shiny, mirrorlike background. In production for 30 years, some editions are more challenging to find than others. The Burmese cat featured on the 1996 version is uniquely recognizable. However, many collectors choose to own their personal favorite breed or breeds.
- British Silver Dragon of Wales
While native species are commonly found on collectible currency, mythical creatures are no stranger to coins. A recent example is the 2017 edition of the Queen’s Beasts series. These coins featured the Red Dragon of Wales fiercely represented on the reverse, clutching a shield in its menacing claws. Made from .9999 fine Silver, these coins can be found in several different sizes, starting at 1 oz and going up to 10 oz. Gold coins with this design were also made. The Red Dragon of Cadwallader is a symbol of power and sovereignty. It dates back to the 16th century Royal Arms of Wales and still appears on the flag today. Those who love the legends of King Arthur will also find joy in owning the British Silver Dragon coins.
- Tuvalu 5 oz Silver Tyrannosaurus Rex
For dinosaur lovers, there is no more magnificent coin to own than the Tuvalu 5 oz Silver Tyrannosaurus Rex. The mintage of this coin was only 500, and private collectors have already acquired many of those. The substantial size of 5 troy ounces gives them great Precious Metal value, as well. Paleontologists believe the lifespan of the Tyrannosaurus rex was about 30 years. They were powerful and at the top of the food chain during their period. Research also shows that the T. rex jaw could bite with a force of 3,000 pounds per square inch, similar to the power of today’s alligators.
- Spain 5 Centimos Horse & Rider
Collectors who appreciate older coins will enjoy owning the Spain 5 Centimos Horse & Rider. Minted from 1940 until 1953, these coins were made from aluminum and therefore do not have any Precious Metals value. They do, however, feature a stately horse and rider on the obverse, which makes them highly desirable for lovers of equine. Spanish Horse & Rider coins are relatively common, so animal enthusiasts should have no trouble finding a good example to own for their collection. Coins dated 1953 are generally sold at higher prices than other years since this was the last year of the series and also has the smallest mintage.
- Niue 1 oz Gold Green Tree Python Proof
While dogs and cats may reign supreme in the race for most popular pets, snake lovers are indeed in the running for the most dedication to a species. Among the more than 3,000 different species of snakes known in the world, the Green Tree Python was chosen by the South Pacific island nation of Niue for the 2019 edition of its Remarkable Reptiles series. Made from .9999 fine Gold, the mintage of this series is limited to 150 total coins. This scarcity means python lovers should add this to their collection as soon as possible, as prices are almost certain to rise as the supply shrinks. The reverse features the astonishing green tree python wrapped around a branch, a common resting place for this snake. The image of the reptile is in full color, so collectors can clearly see the vibrant green details of this incredible serpent.