The Royal Australian Mint is now accepting pre-orders for the 2016 Northern Sky – Ursa Major Silver Proof Domed Coin, which is due for release on July 4 and has a mintage limited to 5,000 pieces. This is the second coin in the Mint’s Northern Sky series, following up on the Cassiopeia release from last December. It can be purchased for $120.00 AUD.
The coin’s reverse features an image of Ursa Major, a constellation of stars in which many see the shape of a large bear. Ptolemy famously identified the constellation in the second century A.D., though it is thought to have been referenced in oral traditions far earlier.
The night sky is rendered in color, while the stars and earth-bound mountains appear in silver. Inscribed on this side of the coin are NORTHERN SKY-URSA MAJOR and FIVE DOLLARS.
The concave shape of the reverse enlivens the image with a three-dimensional dome effect.
The obverse carries Ian Rank-Broadley’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, with the inscriptions ELIZABETH II, AUSTRALIA, and 2016 placed along the rim.
Composed of an ounce of silver, the coin measures 39.62 mm in diameter and carries a Proof finish. The fineness of the silver is not currently listed on the Mint’s product page for the item, but last year’s (2016-dated) Cassiopeia issue was made of 99.9% silver. This product is also accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
For more information on the 2016 Northern Sky – Ursa Major Silver Proof Domed Coin, please visit the Web site of the Royal Australian Mint.