Niue, a 260-square-kilometre island in the South Pacific Ocean, recently released the latest coin of its ongoing Solar System series.
Struck by the Mint of Poland on behalf of Niue, “Mars” is a domed silver coin that not only depicts the iconic surface of the red planet but includes a piece of meteorite Northwest Africa (NWA) 7397. The legal-tender coins are enhanced with an antique finish containing copper, which replicates the planet’s rich colour. It contains one Troy ounce of .999 Fine silver.
The coin’s convex reverse depicts the Valles Marineris canyon system of Mars, which is more than 2,000 kilometers long and estimated to be eight kilometers deep. The ancient piece of NWA 7397 meteorite is set into the largest portion of the canyon. The inscription “SOLAR SYSTEM – MARS” is placed at the top of the field.
The concave obverse features a reduced, right-facing portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley. The portrait is located on the left side of the coin and is surrounded by the inscriptions “ELIZABETH II,” “NIUE ISLAND 2017,” and “Ag999.” The coin’s denomination, “ONE DOLLAR,” is also engraved at the bottom.
The coin has a weight of 31.1 grams, a 38.61-mm diameter and a mintage of only 686 pieces.