Wildlife Protection – Gobi Bear
Mongolia. 500 Togrog. 2019. Silver .999. 1 oz. Crystal inlay. 38.61 mm. Antique Finish. Mintage: 2,500 pcs. B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt, Munich.
Mongolia. 1000 Togrog. 2019. Gold .9999. 0.5 g. 11 mm. Proof. Mintage: 15,000 pcs. B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt, Munich.
The obverse features the emblem of the Central Bank of Mongolia, below in Latin lettering MONGOLIA; on the silver coin in Cyrillic lettering 500 Togrog, below 1 oz .999 SILVER; on the gold coin in Cyrillic lettering 1000 Togrog, below 0.5 g .9999 GOLD.
The reverse of the silver coin presents a front-facing image of the Mongolian Gobi Bear, in the upper field WILDLIFE PROTECTION 2019, below URSUS ARCTOS GOBIENSIS.
The reverse of the gold coin features a Gobi Bear standing in a steppe landscape; above WILDLIFE PROTECTION, in the right field GOBI BEAR, below 2019.
The Mongolian “WILDLIFE PROTECTION” series is one of the most successful series in modern-day numismatics. The first issue–“Gulo Gulo”, released in 2007–was awarded the COTY for best silver coin by Krause and was also chosen as Coin of the Year. The second issue, “Ural Owl”, received the COTY for “most popular coin”.
What is perhaps even more characteristic of this series is the fact that there are only a few series around the world that have been copied or even forged as often as “WILDLIFE PROTECTION”. Which is why CIT Coin Invest AG developed security features just for this series to ensure collectors would not purchase counterfeits. Said features are now also used for other coins issued by the creative think tank from Liechtenstein.
The series is particularly charming because of the image that allows those who view the coin to look directly into the eyes of the animal. This is why the coin does not depict the animal in its entirety, but instead shows a front-facing image of it that fills the entire coin image. The eyes are made of two colored Swarovski crystal elements – which are adapted to the respective species. The extreme close-up view creates a visual connection to the animal that has an emotional effect on the viewer.
After 10 successful issues, all of which sold out more or less immediately after their release, the Gobi Bear will now conclude the series. The Gobi Bear is endemic to the Mongolian Gobi Desert, which gave the animal its name. It mainly lives off roots, berries and plants. Large mammals are not part of the bear’s diet. Considering its species, it is a fairly small animal. Adult Gobi Bears only weigh about 50 to 100 kilos.
As there are only 30 adult Gobi Bears known to exist, the Zoological Society of London considers it a critically endangered species.
A gold coin with a diameter of 11 mm that weighs 0.5 g has also been issued. This coin features a full-body portrait of the Gobi Bear.