A real pearl on a coin

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June 18, 2015 – On behalf of the Micronesian island state Palau, Coin Invest Trust dedicates the “Rainbow of the Sea – Marine Life Protection” series to mussel and snail species that are as beautiful as they are endangered. The latest issue centres on the green ormer.

Shell of a green ormer. Photograph: Jan Delsing.

One glance at the shell of the green ormer is enough to understand how the sea snail got its name: The curved form of the maritime species, shimmering in iridescent shades of green, indeed resembles an ear.

The animal’s scientific name reflects its appearance: Haliotis is derived from the Greek word hali, meaning salt or sea, and otis for ear. Tuberculata refers to the small tubercles on the shell, which reaches a size of up to 15 cm.

The green ormer already appeared in the 1758 publication Systema Naturae by botanist and zoologist Carl Linnaeus. 130 years later, Brehms Tierleben informed its readers that “the Haliotis tuberculata is a common species of the Mediterranean, endowed with all the appealing outer features of its species.” Apart from the Mediterranean, the pearl-producing snail can also be found in the Eastern Atlantic and the English Channel.

The animals can live up to 20 years and usually inhabit a water depth of up to 50 m. In order to resist the current, it holds on to the ground with a muscular foot, the flesh of which is considered a delicacy in many countries. Overharvesting has drastically reduced the population of the green ormer to a point where it is seriously endangered today.

Palau / 2015 / 5 Dollars / Silver .999 / 1 ounce / 38.61 mm / Proof / 2500 pcs.

Coin Invest Trust continues its successful Marine Life Protection series with this new issue for Palau. Just like its predecessor, the “green ormer” with its concave, mother-of-pearl like surface and the real pearl inserted into its centre is guaranteed to quickly find many admirers.

The coins are minted by B.H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt GmbH. Collectors can purchase the issue through specialty dealers.

For more information on this coin or other coins designed by CIT please visit the website of Coin Invest Trust.

More fascinating information on the green ormer provides this website.