The Common Barn Owl has a mysterious family offshoot in Australia.
Unlike its extensively distributed relative, the Masked Owl is only found in coastal regions of Australia and some parts of New Guinea.
Even here it’s regarded as a bit of an enigma due to its nocturnal, secretive and often very silent behaviour, which makes it difficult to observe.
Unique Opal Design
The largest member of the Barn Owl family, the Masked Owl has dark eyes set in a prominent, flat, heart-shaped facial mask that is encircled by a dark border. It requires tall eucalyptus trees with suitable hollows for nesting and roosting.
Using these cues, Aleysha Howarth from The Perth Mint’s creative studio prepared a representation of a Masked Owl in the hollow of a tree.
To create the coin’s innovative centrepiece, her design was laser-etched into glass which was then laid over a mosaic of authentic Australian opal.
The spectacular outcome is a uniquely coloured interpretation of this special Australian owl.
No more than 8,000 of these Masked Owl 2014 1oz Silver Proof Coins will be struck. Each coin is presented in a prestigious display case with a light, which illuminates as you open the lid, to represent the moon shining down on an amazing nocturnal creature.