The Royal Dutch mint has issued (May 17) the latest gold and silver coins in its popular Dutch UNESCO series highlighting the many locations and landmarks recognized as UNESCO heritage sites in the Netherlands. This year’s coin features the Wadden Sea, which borders three countries in Northern Europe: the Netherlands to the southeast, Denmark to the northeast, and Germany to the east.
The Wadden Sea contains the largest unbroken system of inter-tidal sand and mud flats in the world. In the Netherlands, it is part of the range of Frisian Islands and covers the Dutch Wadden Sea Conservation Area; in Germany, it borders the areas of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein and comprises the German Wadden Sea National Parks; in Denmark, it makes up most of the Danish Wadden Sea maritime conservation area.
At 1,143,403 hectares, the equivalent to over 4,400 square miles, this World Heritage property encompasses a multitude of transitional zones between land, sea, and freshwater environments, and is rich in species that have specially adapted over many generations to demanding environmental conditions.
Apart from rare and endangered species, this unique natural system of sand and mud plains is home to numerous plants and animals, including marine mammals like the harbor seal, grey seal, and the harbor porpoise. It is also the breeding and wintering ground for anywhere from 10- to 12-million birds annually.
The coins’ reverse design includes a depiction of the Frisian Islands, the small islets that make up the delicate coastline of the Netherlands. A bird in flight and a starfish placed just to the lower right are also included, representing the many species that thrive in this unspoiled eco-zone.
The obverse of the coin carries a three-quarters facing stylized portrait of King Willem-Alexander, along with a miniature silhouette profile. A legend is placed around the upper-right edge of the coin. A medal and crown are found at the bottom of the design, slightly to the right. The image of the medal includes a portion of the motto of the Royal House, JE MAINTRENDAI.
The ten- and five-euro Wadden Sea coins are the fifth in a ten-part Dutch World Heritage series designed by Kianoosh Motallebi. The 2016-dated UNESCO coins are the first official commemorative coins to include the privy mark of the acting Mintmaster.
For more information on this and other coins offered by the Royal Dutch Mint, please visit their Web site. The Mint ships to European destinations only.