The opening night of the Winter Olympics happens to coincide with a numismatic tradition: the annual spotting of the Mongolian Endangered Wildlife Series release! With the low mintage of 2500, the 500 Togrog series has many ardent supporters who find themselves looking to purchase the coins for their collection without huge secondary mark-ups. So far, no sellers have been seen sporting these silver pieces, but keep your eyes peeled: these round pupil’d cats will undoubtedly play hard to get.
Collectors will likely have to look to international distributors to snare the fifth installment of this unique series. With Swarovski Element gemstones again marking the animal eyes (this time in green), the Manul (Pallas’s cat) has the trademark ‘full face’ design.
As the original series with designs of the frosted super-close up have become so popular (the key date wolverine still goes for $1500+) there have been imitators who have done okay in their own right- notably the red squirrel coin that was minted for Palau with the same type of design (and the exact same COA printing)- which fetches about half of the Mongolian coins. There are plenty of frosted crystal eyed animal coins these days- but the Mongolian is the undisputed gold medal winner.
Imitation is the best form of flattery, and for the lucky few who both have and enjoy (and there are some who are turned off by the designs) these Mongolian coins, they are likely cornerstones of the collection. There’s just nothing like them.
The Pallas’s Cat is indigenous to Central Asia, and like the others in the series, poachers present a terrible threat to their future. Other fun facts about the Pallas’ Cat: about the size of a house-cat, hunted for fur and medicine potions, 47 worldwide in zoos in 2010 and the highest mortality rate of kittens. Incredibly, they are they only cat that has round pupils, which seems to match the green crystals perfectly, and is likely news to most (all other cats have slits as pupils).
Finally. just for fun. the Manul’s interesting photo was used as a type of performance art- with posters going up made to look like lost-cat fliers but actually just showing off the Pallas’s Cat’s unique appearance. Until they are released, collector’s will be asking themselves:
Have you seen this cat?