Woodland Spirits – Racoon Dog
Mongolia. 500 Togrog. 2020. Silver .999. 1 oz. Partly pad printed. 38.61 mm. Proof. Mintage: 1,500. B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt, Munich.
Description of the Coin
One side presents the head of a racoon dog in front view; the animal is hiding in a flower field. Below, the series’ title Woodland Spirits, in the right field, the year 2020.
The other side features a forest landscape, on it the coat of arms of the Bank of Mongolia, below in Cyrillic script 500 Togrog, in Latin script MONGOLIA 1 oz .999 SILVER.
After Fox in 2018 and Rabbit in 2019, in 2020 Racoon Dog will be the third animal of the enchanting Woodland Spirits series by CIT Coin Invest. The racoon dog, sometimes called tanuki or mangut, is a cute little fellow that can easily be mistaken for a racoon at first glance due to its thick fur and its typical pattern.
Like foxes and rabbits, the racoon dog is one of the animals that play a key role in fairy tales.
Especially in Japan, the bake-danuki is a popular figure in folk culture. Infinite stories tell of his jokes.
He likes to shapeshift to tease humans, and even outclasses the fox while doing so: whereas the fox has only seven shapes, the racoon dog has eight. Eight is considered a particularly auspicious number, which is why the racoon dog is considered a sign of good luck in Japan.
The shy and nocturnal animal does not only live in Japan. Its original habitat was located in Mongolia and its neighbor country China. However, already in the 19th century it was brought to western Russia and neighboring Ukraine because of its soft fur and was returned to the wild. From there, it started to spread all over Central Europe in the 1950s. Today, we know of racoon dogs living in eastern Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. But unlike many other introduced species, it does not seem to endanger any native species.
Racoon Dog is the first coin of the Woodland Spirits series on which the animal’s head is completely shown in front view. Making the blank feature the pointed snout with an almost unbelievable three-dimensionality required sophisticated smartminting© technology. The delicate pastose color application intensifies the relief’s visual effect creating a trueness to nature that wasn’t possible to achieve in coinage until recently.