The Wadden Sea 10 Euro gold coin, issued by the Royal Dutch Mint, commemorates one of the largest intertidal habitats in the world.
Located in northern Europe and bordering the nations of the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark, the Wadden Sea is a unique 4,400-square-mile conservation area that is home to a chain of islands and diverse flora and fauna. It is also a critical wintering and breeding ground for more than 10 million birds and other animals that inhabit the region on an annual basis. The Wadden Sea, which derives its name from the Dutch word “wad,” or “mud flat,” was declared a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2009.
The Wadden Sea is depicted on the Netherlands’ new 0.900-fine gold 10-euro Proof coin. A maximum mintage of 1,250 pieces will be struck. In addition to the Not-Intended-For-Circulation 10-euro commemorative gold coin, the Royal Dutch Mint is also striking five-euro versions of the Wadden Sea commemorative in various other metal and finish combinations, including a 0.925-fine sterling silver Proof and silver-plated copper coins in uncirculated, gilded silver and colored options.
The Wadden Sea commemorative is the fifth installment in an annual numismatic program honoring UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Netherlands that started in 2012 with coins featuring the “Grachtengordel” system of canals in Amsterdam. The series is scheduled to run through the year 2021.
Interestingly, the 2016 Netherland Wadden Sea commemoratives aren’t the first to honor the site. Germany issued a silver 10-euro commemorative commemorating the Wadden Sea national parks in 2004.
The obverse of the 10-euro gold coin is anchored by a photorealistic portrait of king Willem-Alexander at three-quarters view, with his face looking just to the right of the viewer. A featureless, right-facing profile of the king’s head is superimposed over the larger portrait.
A stylized rendition of the nation’s coat of arms is situated just to the right of the king’s bust, extending from the bottom of the coin upward into the middle of the field. Part of the Royal House motto, JE MAINTRENDAI (French for “I WILL MAINTAIN”) is inscribed within the medal. The obverse inscription, WILLEM-ALEXANDER KONING DER NEDERLANDS, translates into English as “Willem-Alexander, King of the Dutch.”
In the upper half of the reverse design are two birds that outstretch their wings vertically across the field. At the bottom center of the coin is a starfish; the animals on the coin represent the diverse wildlife of the Wadden Sea and its Frisian Islands. The small islands are identified on the reverse of the coin from left to right as TEXEL, VLIELAND, TERSCHELLING, AMELAND, SCHIERMONNIKOOG, BORKUM, JUIST, NORDERNEY, BALTRUM, LANGEOOG, SPIEKEROOG, WANGEROOGE, and NEUWERK.
The reverse legends within the top-right sector of the coin in two lines read DE WADDENZEE and NEDERLANDS WERELDERFGOED 2016, which translate to “The Wadden Sea” and “Dutch World Heritage 2016”. At the bottom left of the reverse is the coin’s denomination, 10 EURO. The mintmark, identified as Mercury’s wand, represents the Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt, or Royal Dutch Mint, located in Utrecht.
The edge of the 10-euro gold Proof UNESCO World Heritage Site Wadden Sea commemorative coin features the inscription GOD * ZIJ * MET * ONS (“God be with us”).
Designer(s): Kianoosh Motallebi is a Dutch modern artist who studied at the Koninklijke Akademie van Beeldende Kunst in The Hague and earned his master’s degree from the Sale School of Fine Art in London. His work tends to focus on technology and science. (View Designer’s Profile).
|Year Of Issue:||2016|
|Mint Mark:||Mercury’s Wand (Utrecht)|
|Edge:||Inscribed (GOD * ZIJ * MET * ONS)|
|OBV Designer||Kianoosh Motallebi|
|REV Designer||Kianoosh Motallebi|
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