Mennica Polska Poland Mint

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LARGE BLUE Butterfly Silver Proof Coin 1$ Niue 2011


The third coin of the lucky series "Butterflies" is dedicated to the the most attractive and beautiful butterflies of Europe and world. The coin's obverse depicts a stylized image of a Large Blue against the bushes of Great Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis).

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The Large Blue (Phengaris arion, also known as Maculinea arion and Glaucopsyche arion) is a blue butterfly, that is resident in Europe and some parts of Asia. The butterfly became extinct in the United Kingdom in 1979, but has since been reintroduced by conservationists. Conservation efforts have, until recently, been hindered by very limited knowledge of the butterfly's complicated life cycle. Uncommon everywhere in the world, the Large Blue Butterfly primarily resides in heaths, sand dunes and hillsides.
Large Blue caterpillars are about half an inch in length and can live as long as 9 months before they form a chrysalis to become a butterfly. Large Blue butterflies have a wingspan of up to 2 inches, and will live for only a few weeks. The wings of the Large blue butterfly are speckled with black dots. Compared to a Large Blue caterpillar, the adult's lifespan is short. Large Blue caterpillars feed on wild thyme or marjoram flowers for the first few days of development. Once well fed, the caterpillar secretes sweet fluids to attract red ants of the species Myrmica sabuleti. The ants then take the caterpillar back to their nest and proceed to feed from these secretions. The caterpillar then hibernate inside the ants' tunnels. On emerging from hibernation, the caterpillars will then begin to eat the red ant's eggs and larvae for up to 3 weeks.

  • CountryNiue
  • Year2011
  • Face Value1 Dollar
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)925/1000
  • Weight (g)28.28
  • Diameter (mm)38.61
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)8.000
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)No

On one of the leaves a likeness of the red ant (Myrmica sabuleti). To the right the inscription Maculinea Arion (Latin name for the butterfly). Thanks to the pad printing tecnique the images reflect the genuine butterfly colors. The reverse, in the central part of the coin, shows Queen Elisabeth II effigy and The Mint’s mark ‘M/W’. Around it the inscription Niue Island 2011 and the nominal value. In the background, a stylized enlarged fragment of a butterfly wing.