Earth Day is coming and one fun way to bring awareness to environmental issues is by collecting the World Wildlife Fund’s silver medal set. Issued by the Royal Mint in honor of the WWF’s 50th anniversary in 2011, this set features six animals the organization protects. A famous quote from the WWF founder is broken into phrases on the back of each medal, so that if you have all of them, you can read the entire quote. And so here are all six silver medals in honor of Earth Day.
The Giant Panda
The most famous of the WWF’S campaigns, and in fact their logo, the panda is the perfect medal to begin the series. As with all of the medals in this series, the panda medal is made of sterling silver, and weighs 28.28 grams. The obverse design features the face of a panda, obscured by bamboo. On the reverse, more bamboo, along with the first part of the famed quote from WWF founder, Max Nicholson: “WWF is not just about saving.”
Tiger numbers are dismal; as few as 3,200 wild tigers are left on the planet. Organizations like the WWF are integral in helping preserve these mystical and beloved big cats. This medal won’t disappoint tiger lovers. On the obverse, you see half of a tiger’s face, the other half hidden behind jungle. The reverse design features a jungle village scene in the background, with the silhouette of a tiger over the village. The next part of the quote reads, “whales and tigers and rainforests.”
The dolphin is the only sea creature represented in the series. And the ocean is lucky to have such a friendly and intelligent ambassador. On the obverse of the coin, a detailed close-up of a dolphin’s face can be seen, with a school of dolphins swimming in the background. Below the dolphins is a bed of sea kelp. On the reverse of the coin, fish are swimming along with a scuba diver. The next line of the Nicholson quote is engraved above: “and preventing pollution and waste.”
Orangutans are at high risk of extinction due in large part to the decimation of their habitat. The WWF serves as a champion for these incredible creatures, attempting to establish safe habitats for them. The obverse design of the orangutan medal features a shy orangutan hiding behind a tree. The reverse design shows just an orangutan’s arm clinging to vine, framing the top of the medal. A man rowing a canoe in a river is seen beneath the swinging primate. The quote continues, “but is inescapably concerned with.”
Rhinos have been in the news lately for their dwindling numbers. Despite the fact that the animal is on the brink of extinction, poachers continue to threaten rhinos’ survival. The WWF is attempting to create sanctuaries for these magnificent animals before it’s too late. The obverse design of the medal features a detailed rendering of a rhino’s face. The reverse design features the side of a rhino’s face and an African savannah. Above the savannah, the quote reads, “the future conduct, welfare and happiness.”
The Polar Bear
We’re all familiar with the plight of the polar bear. If there’s ever been a symbol for the living impact of climate change, the polar bear is it. A fitting conclusion of the series, the obverse design of this medal features a polar bear’s face with ice crystals swirling in the background. The reverse design features a polar bear seen from the side, standing atop the snowy tundra. Above the tundra, the quote fittingly concludes, “and indeed survival of mankind on this planet.”
Earth would be a lesser place without these animals. These medals bring heightened awareness to our endangered friends on Earth Day, but the work continues at the WWF year-round.
Like this? Read Top Ten Most Famous Animal Coins.
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