Owls on Coins Remain Popular
If you are involved in animal coin collecting, then you know that Owls have always been one of the more popular design choices. From ancient to modern issue Owls have always been used in attractive coin designs to represent strength and wisedom. Even more common circulating coins which bear Owl designs ususally go up in value over time. There is always demand for Owl coins.
The Finland Owl coin which celebrates the 350th Anniversary of the University of Helsinki went up in value this year from $60 to $90 in BU on NumisMaster. It's a lovely traditional design by Raimo Heino with an Owl on the obverse and a Harp on the reverse. Struck in silver, denominated at 100 Markkaa and cataloged as KM#68, this coin has always had a strong following.
A few years ago, South Africa struck a pair of Owl coins with a less-traditional perspective. Cataloged as KM#283 and KM#284 in the Standard Catalog of World Coins 2001-Date, these Owls offer a unique sense of the Owls life in the wild. The 2 Rand is struck in proof with one ounce of silver.This type shows a close-up of the Verreaux's Eagle Owl's face. Released in 2004 with a mintage of 3,000 this coin has moved up in value from $45 to $60 over the last year.
It's counterpart is a small silver coin, also struck in 2004 to proof standards. Denominated at 2 1/2 cents, but not used for circulation, this type sports a Pearl Spotted Owlet on a tree branch. Currently it is holding it's value at $25, though it's mintage of 2,000 is too small to maintain at that level indefinitely.
Al Beck of the Coin Lode, a specialist in animal coins, tells me that the 2 1/2 cent Pearl Spotted Owlet coin has come to him in two different types of packaging. Some were held in a knotted leather pouch, while others were contained in a sonic sealed capsule. Either way, it has been a popluar type for which Beck has seen continued demand.