Endangered Species: Venerable Collared Lizard, Niue, 2013, 1oz


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The Venerable Collared Lizard, or Crotaphytus antiquus, is a species of lizard endemic to Northern Mexico. Listed as endangered by the IUCN, this species is saxicolous (lives among rocks), often found perched on rocky outcrops in desert scrub areas.

The lizard gets its name from the band around its neck, which, it has been said, resembles the collar of a shirt. This species has a distinct and varied pattern across its skin made up of various earthy tones, olives, cream and dark brown. These distinct designs act as a form of camouflage, which, when coupled with speed and the ability to leap long distances for its size, assist the lizard in escaping predators and hunting prey. The Venerable Collared Lizard uses its long tail to assist in balance and movement.

The declining population of this species has been linked to on-going habitat degradation, mainly due to gravel extraction for building materials in nearby urban areas. At this point in time, there is an urgent need to conserve the Venerable Collared Lizard’s habitat within a limited range and for awareness of this species to be raised.

Reverse Design

This features a finely engraved Venerable Collared Lizard, showcasing the unique patterns of its skin. This endangered species is set against the desert-like environment in which it may be found in Northern Mexico. A Barrel Cactus from the area appears to the right of the lizard while the left hand side of the coin fades into the engraved latitude and longitude lines of the globe set against a mirror finish background.

Obverse Design

This coin is issued by New Zealand Mint as legal tender, under the authority of Niue, and features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.


The Endangered Species – Venerable Collared Lizard 1 oz 999 fine Silver coin is packaged inside a rustic wooden crate, used by animal parks all over the world to transport animals. When opened, the coin and Certificate of Authenticity are displayed.

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