2013 Australian Opal Series – The Pygmy Possum 1oz Silver Proof Coin
This is the 4th release from the Australian Opal Series. Inlaid chips of pure Australian opal come together in a brilliant mosaic of colour to depict this rare species of Australian fauna perched on a Banksia branch.
It is a proof quality coin made from 99.9% pure silver and comes in magnificent display box which even has a small light in the lid to highlight the opal facets on opening.
The outer band on the coin stuck with images of leaves and flowers from the possums native habitat and also has the moon and the Southern Cross displayed to give more feel to the surrounds of this tiny nocturnal animal.
Truly a delight to look at and a great 4th coin in an already popular series from the innovative artists at silversmiths at Perth Mint.
The coin comes with original packaging, prestige case and Certificate of Authenticity. Certificate number may vary from that displayed.
The coin’s reverse also incorporates The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mint mark. Issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965, the coin’s obverse depicts the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the 2013 year-date.
Silver Content (Troy oz) 1.0
Monetary Denomination (AUD) $1
Fineness (% purity) 99.9
Minimum Gross Weight (g) 31.135
Maximum Diameter (mm) 36.60
Maximum Thickness (mm) 4.50
Maximum Mintage 8,000
Designer Aleysha Howarth
The pygmy possums are a family of small possums that together form the marsupial family Burramyidae. The five extant species of pygmy possum are grouped into two genera. Four of the species are endemic to Australia, with one species also co-occurring in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
Pygmy possums range in length from about 5 to 12 cm (2.0 to 4.7 in), and usually weigh between 10 and 50 grams (0.35 and 1.76 oz). They are nocturnal and omnivorous, living on a diet of invertebrates, fruit, seed, nectar and pollen. They are excellent climbers, due in part to their prehensile tails. Although they cannot glide like some other species of possums, some species are able to leap long distances.
Conservation International (CI) and the Indonesia Institute of Science (LIPI) reported on the possible discovery of a new species of Cercartetus pygmy possum upon visit to the Foja Mountains in June 2007.
Eastern pygmy possums are very small, weighing from 15 to 43 grams (0.53 to 1.52 oz) and having a body length of between 7 and 9 centimeters (2.8 and 3.5 in) with a 8 to 11 centimeters (3.1 to 4.3 in) tail. They are dull grey above and white below, with big, forward pointing, almost hairless, ears and a long prehensile tail, with thick fur at the base that becomes sparser towards the tip. They have long whiskers, and a narrow ring of dark fur around each eye.
The eastern pygmy possum is an active climber. It uses its brush tipped tongue to feed on nectar and pollen, especially from Banksia, Eucalyptus and Callistemon species. It also feeds on insects, and will eat soft fruits when flowers are not available. It is a largely solitary animal, sheltering in tree hollows and stumps, abandoned bird nests, and thickets. During winter it spends time in torpor.
They are nocturnal, and, although generally thought to be solitary, have been reported to share communal nests, and to be seen in groups of two or more adult individuals. Males occupy home ranges of 0.24 to 1.7 hectares (0.59 to 4.20 acres), which overlap with each other and with the smaller, 0.18 to 0.61 hectares (0.44 to 1.51 acres) ranges of females.
Opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silica; its water content may range from 3% to 21% by weight, but is usually between 6% to 10%. Because of its amorphous character it is classed as a mineraloid, unlike the other crystalline forms of silica which are classed as minerals. It is deposited at a relatively low temperature and may occur in the fissures of almost any kind of rock, being most commonly found with limonite, sandstone, rhyolite, marl and basalt. Opal is the national gemstone of Australia, which produces 97% of the world’s supply. This includes the production of the state of South Australia, which accounts for approximately 80% of the world’s supply.
*All historical information taken from Wikipedia for educational purposes only