COIN REVEAL: 1996 Southern Right Whale - 40g Sterling Silver Coin

in #leofinance2 months ago

Today's featured coin is the 1996 Southern Right Whale coin struck by the Royal Australian Mint. This coin is a 40g Sterling Silver Piedfort proof quality coin.

If you read my Sneak Peek post written on 5 May 2021: Sneak Peek - Coin Reveal, you will recognise the outer box of this coin as it was mentioned in that previous post.



Each Coin Reveal post as part of my Sneak Peek series features special collector coin that I currently own in my stack or one that I would love to own one day. The focus of today's post is the 1996 Southern Right Whale 40g Sterling Silver Piedfort proof coin.

The contents of each post will follow the same format and cover the five topics listed below.

1. Coin Story
2. Coin Packaging
3. Coin Details
4. Coin Design
6. Coin Protection

1. Coin Story


The Southern Right Whale coin was released by the Royal Australian Mint in 1996, as part of the AUSTRALIA'S ENDANGERED SPECIES series. This commemorative series was dedicated to four of Australia's native species struggling for survival.


1. 1995 Numbat
2. 1996 Southern Right Whale
3. 1997 South-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo
4. 1998 Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat

The Southern Right Whale's habitat during the summer months is far into the Southern Ocean. They spend their time feeding in the nutrient rich waters near Antarctica.

In winter they migrate north to breed. Southern Right Whale can be seen of the coast of a number of Southern Hemisphere countries, including Australia.

The population of the Southern Right Whale is currently around 10,000. It is estimated that the population is growing at approximately 7% per year.



The goal of the AUSTRALIA'S ENDANGERED SPECIES series was to contribute to increased awareness of the Southern Right Whale, in an effort to help save the species.


These coins are readily available on the secondary market. On there were a few different sold listing between AUD $40.00 - AUD $55.00.


The 40g Sterling Silver (.925) spot price at the time of writing this post was at AU $40.80. The sold prices for the 1996 Whale version of the coin range from slightly under its actual silver content weight of the coin and a nice premium above its silver spot price.

The issue price for these coins was AU $88.00, so although they still sell for a premium, they have definitely lost a lot of their collector or numismatic value.

2. Coin Packaging


The outer box is navy with an illustration of a Southern Right Whale breaching the surface of the water. The text near the bottom of the box reads 'AUSTRALIA'S ENDANGERED SPECIES' with smaller text below in brackets that reads (Piedfort).

Note: There is a standard proof version of this coin that is 20g Sterling Silver, so if you decide to purchase this coin please remember to check if you are buying the 20g or 40g coin, price your offer accordingly.

Each 40g Silver coin comes with an accompanying coin certificate, below is an excerpt from the certificate:

Certificate of Authenticity

This is to certify that the 1996 sterling silver $10 commemorative coin is one of just 14,000 struck by the Royal Australian Mint.


The 40g Silver proof coin is housed in a navy blue clam shell case. On the lid of the case in silver print are the words AUSTRALIA'S ENDANGERED SPECIES (Piedfort).

3. Coin Details

a. Mintage

The maximum mintage of the 1996 Southern Right Whale 40g Sterling Silver Piedfort proof coin was limited at 14,000 coins. The coin was issued as legal tender under the authority of Australia with a denomination of ten dollars.

b. Purity

The 1996 edition of the coin has a purity of .925 sterling silver.

c. Details

Mint/Brand: Royal Australian Mint
Purity: .925 Sterling Silver
Denomination: $10 (Australian)
Year of Issue: 1996
Edge: Milled
Weight: 40g
Diameter: 34.00mm
Thickness: 5.00mm
Maximum Mintage: 14,000
Designer: Vladimir Gottwald

4. Coin Design

a. Reverse Design

The reverse of the proof coin depicts an adult Southern Right Whale swimming in the ocean with its calf, in the waters off the Australian coast.

The design includes an inscription '10 DOLLARS' and 'SOUTHERN RIGHT WHALE'.


b. Obverse Design

The obverse of the coin portrays the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the words 'ELIZABETH II' and 'AUSTRALIA', with the year inscription of '1996'.


5. Coin Protection

Each 40g Sterling Silver coin is stored in an original mint plastic capsule. It is highly recommended that you keep your silver proof coins in their capsules, to protect them from tarnish, or scratches on the coin that could result from handling the coin.

When handling your silver coin, for extra protection use a pair of cotton gloves. Cotton gloves protect your coins from oils in your fingers that may cause discoloration, damaging the finish of the coin. I have formed the habit to use cotton gloves even when I am handling coins in their plastic capsules.

source APMEX

Post authored by @strenue


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