This 150 Dollar gold proof coin was released in 2005 by the Royal Australian Mint and was the second instalment in a series of three, commemorating Australian rare birds. The set was intended to raise awareness for the rare birds and the importance of the preservation of Australian wildlife as well as make a stunning addition to any collection. The three coins were released progressively, one every year between the years of 2004 and 2006. This coin pays tribute to the Malleefowl, a shy, solitary bird native to Western Australia. The Rare Bird Series also included coins featuring the Cassowary and the South-eastern Red Tailed Black Cockatoo.Each of the coins were struck into gold and have a limited mintage of just 2500. As well as this series of $200 the same three birds and designs were also incorporated into a $200 series of the same name.
The reverse of this coin was designed by Royal Australian Mint designer and sculptor Wojciech Pietranik. If bears the profile of the hardworking Malleefowl bird amongst its natural habitat of the Australian bush. The only legend on the reverse of the coin is the 150 DOLLARS. The obverse of the coin features the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and surrounding the image is the legend ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2004. The coin was issued in a beautiful wooden presentation case the outside of which bears the text Australian Government Royal Australian Mint. This was packaged in an outer box creatively designed featuring foliage from the bush and a picture of the coin. The text on the box reads $150 Gold Proof Coin Rare Birds - Malleefowl. Also included in the box is a Certificate of Authenticity and a booklet containing information pertaining to the rare birds featured in this commemorative set.
The Malleefowl is distantly related to the chicken and is a similar size. They are generally found in areas of scrub and in the bush of Western Australia. They are shy birds that generally live in solitary and very rarely fly. They constantly rummage but are able to freeze completely when threatened and their patterned plumage makes them very hard to see.They will only fly when chased and flying is necessary. Even during mating they will roost and feed separately and the male is responsible for constructing large nesting mounds. There conservation status varies across different states for example in Victoria it is listed as endangered, in South Australia as vulnerable and in New South Wales as endangered. The Malleefowl was once found in plentiful numbers across Australia but due to climate change, disruptions to their habitat and the introduction of the red fox, their numbers are now dwindling.
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