April 26, 2012 – Called after Priamus, the mythical king of Troy, the butterfly Ornithoptera Priamus is found in the South Sea between the Moluccas and Northern Australia. Tokelau, a territory composed of three atolls with a combined land area of around 12 square kilometres and approximately 1,500 inhabitants issues this coin remembering thus the rich and colourful fauna and flora of these idyllic islands.
Tokelau / 5 dollars / 2012 / silver .925 / 25 g / 38.61 mm / proof / mintage: 2,500 pieces.
Since sovereignty over Tokelau has been transferred to New Zealand the coin’s obverse shows a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II being the official head of state. Below is indicated the official face value of the .925 silver coin: “Five Dollars”. The territory symbol is placed in the exergue: a traditional carver wooden “tackle box” used by fishermen and embellished with a cross. The importance of Christianity is also underlined by the motto stamped on the band running under the symbol: “Tokelau mo te Atua”, Tokelau for God. The obverse is enclosed by a rhombic pattern on whose inner edge runs the inscription: “˜ ELIZABETH II ˜ TOKELAU 2012 ˜”.
On the reverse a big coloured blossom is arranged occupying nearly the whole field and growing from the inferior left part. The flower even interrupts part of the raised edge of the coin. On that flower a yellow butterfly with green wings is placed; the specimen’s name is indicated on the blossom below: “Ornithoptera Priamus”. Above on the right is written the series’ name: “Exotic Butterflies”, beside of the inscription a small stilised butterfly is engraved.
Ornithoptera priamus pronomus, Lockerbie Scrub Cape York Peninsula Australia, 25 August 1975. Photo: Robert Nash, Curator of Entomology Ulster Museum / Wikipedia.
The popularity of this series becomes obvious by the fact that this butterfly issue – like most of the previous issues of the series – has been sold out at the Coin Invest Trust and is thus only available at dealers or auctions. Particularly the second market rejoices because the Coin Invest Trust keeps the mintage firm: a small bonus for collectors making that way collecting an activity without risk. Should a collector wish to sell his coins one day he can be sure that he will still get a fair price for them.
For more information on this coin and many more, please visit the website of the Coin Invest Trust.