Mongolian Nature 2015 – Falco cherrug

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August 6, 2015 – It glides majestically over the Mongolian steppes, scouring the ground with its sharp eyes. The Saker falcon is the national bird of the central Asian country and decorates the latest issue of the award-winning Mongolian Nature series created by Coin Invest Trust for Mongolia.

Mongolia / 2015 / 500 Togrog / Silver .925 / 1/2 oz / 38.61 mm / Mintage: 2,500.

Using advanced cutting technology, the obverse shows the silhouette of a Saker falcon flying over a stylized mountain landscape. In keeping with the style of the series, the silhouette is cut out of the coin. The coat of arms of the issuing state, Mongolia, and the nominal value, 500 TOGROG, are given to the right. The reverse shows the mirror-inverted silhouette as well as the name of the series, MONGOLIAN NATURE, on the left edge of the coin, and the year of issue, 2015.
Mongolian Nature – Falco cherrug is available in two versions: as a silver coin with the silhouette cut out, and made of gold depicting the falcon on a smooth coin surface.

Captive Falco cherrug. Photograph: Wikipedia / Dick Daniels.

The Saker falcon (Falco cherrug) is no ordinary animal – he is hunting companion, status symbol and national bird of Mongolia, one of his natural habitats, at once. Native to the steppes and semideserts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, this swift aerial hunter rides the air currents like no other. Paradoxically, its great strength pose a great danger to the species’ survival: Though listed as an endangered species, many animals are illegally captured for falconry, causing the population of the species to rapidly decline.

Hunting with Saker falcons is not a new idea: Already the Sarmatians and the Ostrogoths engaged in falconry to capture waterfowl and other game birds. Like other falcons, the Saker falcon draws circles high up in the air. It then stoops down after the prey and kills it with a quick, well-aimed bite.

Frederick II with his falcon. From his book “On the Art of Hunting with Birds”.

Emperor Frederick II, who ruled the Holy Roman Empire from 1220 to 1250, is regarded as one of the most well-known lovers of falconry. He dedicated an entire book to the subject: In “On the Art of Hunting with Birds” (De arte venandi cum avibus), the passionate falconer documented his profound knowledge. He believed that the art of employing the wild falcon as a tool was a metaphorical image for the skill of a great ruler, who uses his psychological understanding to employ every one of his subjects in the position that best suits him.

For Mongolia, Coin Invest Trust now puts the Saker falcon at the center of the latest issue of the popular Mongolian Nature series. Its first issue, the “Crying Wolf”, won the Krause Award for Most Innovative Coin 2015 as well as the Coin of the Year Award of the Russian Coin Constellation.

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 and other releases please visit the website of Coin Invest Trust.

Watch a YouTube movie on falconry, classified by UNESCO as intangible human heritage, here.

And here you can find the website of the International Association for Falconry and Preservation of Birds of Prey.