Netherlands €5 2011. 50th Anniversary World Wildlife Fund. Silver plated copper-nickel UNC

Netherlands €5 2011. 50th Anniversary World Wildlife Fund. Silver plated copper-nickel UNC

What began as a mission to save the panda has become a wider quest to save the world's wildlife, and this year the World Wide Fund for Nature celebrates its 50th anniversary. To honor the internationally-acclaimed group that defines its mission as nothing less than "to halt and reverse the destruction of our environment," the Netherlands is issuing commemorative coins saying it is a “munt mit een missie” (coin with a mission). It is by the artist Willehad Eilers and contains some special 3D elements. Also integral to the design is the interrelationship between the two sides. The obverse had a small portrait of Queen Beatrix surrounded by leaves in the form of the crown of a large tree. The reverse shows a detailed root structure, from which the tree trunk and the leaves on the coin's opposite side grow.

The €5 was also made in this circulation quality silver-plated copper-nickel. This version weighs 10.5 grams with a size of 29 mm. It is available for $16.50.

In 1961, species such as pandas, polar bears, black rhinos and elephants were in danger of extinction. Determined to avert such disasters a group of conservationists including Sir Peter Scott and Sir Julian Huxley moved to act against an "orgy of thoughtless and needless destruction" of the world's wildlife. The result was the birth of the World Wildlife Fund. Its first president (1962-1976) was Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, husband of Queen Juliana. Prince Philip of Great Britain, the Duke of Edinburgh, served in that role from 1981 to 1996. In 1986, the official name was changed to World Wide Fund for Nature to better reflect the range of its activities, but it kept the WWF initials and continues to operate under the original name in North America.

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