Palau: Distinctive Triggerfish Features on 2017 “Red Sea Marine Life” Silver Coin Series

(Background photo courtesy of Pixabay)

(Background photo courtesy of Pixabay)

On December 1, the government and treasury of the Republic of Palau launched their latest coin, which features exotic and unique marine life inhabiting the Red Sea. This is the fifth coin in the series and features the Triggerfish (or Rhinecanthus aculeatus, to use their scientific name). Triggerfish inhabit tropical and subtropical oceans throughout the world, with over 40 species within the Balistidae family. Their name is derived from the fish’s flexible trigger spine—a dorsal spike that can be raised or lowered at will. The majority of Triggerfish are brightly colored and are marked with patterns of lines and spots. They are easily recognized by their deep, flat bodies, small pectoral fins, small eyes placed high upon the head, and rough, rhomboid-shaped scales that form a tough covering on their body. When a Triggerfish feels threatened or is ready for sleep at night—or simply wants to secure itself against a strong surge of wave action—it will go into a hole and stick up its top trigger, flex the bottom one, and then lock them both into place. Once “triggered into position,” the fish is next to impossible to remove it from its hiding place.

Triggerfish, with several rows of teeth on both their upper and lower jaws, are actually carnivores and spend much of their days nibbling on a wide variety of echinoderms and crustaceans such as crabs, shrimps, sea urchins, worms, and other invertebrates. Domestically, Triggerfish are one of the easiest of all marine fishes to care for, but they are also fairly aggressive. Most all of the species adapt quickly to aquarium life, and since they are a very hearty species, they will eat just about anything you offer them as food … including fingers.


The coin, produced by the Israel Coins and Medals Corporation (ICMC) on behalf of the government and treasury of the Republic of Palau, is designed by Meir Eshel. The obverse design includes a color application that illustrates a sole Triggerfish in its habitat, with its resplendent iridescent shades, distinctive color stripes over the eyes, and bright yellow mouth. The words RED SEA MARINE LIFE and TRIGGERFISH are placed around the primary design in both English and Hebrew lettering, along with the year of issue, 2017.


The reverse includes the crest or coat of arms of the Republic of Palau along with the coin’s denomination, 5$ (New Zealand 5 dollars).

Denom. Metal Weight Diameter Quality Mintage Limit
5 dollars .999 silver 31.1 g 38.6 mm Proof with applied color 5,000

The series will consist of eight coins in total when completed. It is expected that the remaining three coins will be issued intermittently in 2017. The Triggerfish coin can be preordered now with delivery commencing in January. For information on this and other coins issued by the government and treasury of the Republic of Palau, please visit the website of the Israel Coins and Medals Corporation. International orders dispatched where applicable. ❑

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  1. M Alexander says

    Hello Koichi,

    I will ask the Holyland Mint who have produced these coins and post my findings as soon as I receive a reply.


  2. M Alexander says

    Hello Koichi,

    I have been advised by the Marketing department of the Holyland Mint that the Mint who have produced this series is the BH MAYER mint. This series is produced exclusively for them and available directly from their sales website.

    M Alexander

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