Lizards on Caribbean coins…who would have thought?


There are, apparently, about 4,300 species of lizards in the world found in some 26 families, but there are only 17 species in seven families on 33 world coins (15 identified, one currently unknown). I have just read this in an article about coin collecting, which is not something I do, although, of course, I have nothing against having access to lots of coins—whether they have lizards on them or not.

So, among the things I learned today is that the world’s largest lizard, the Komodo dragon, appears on two coins from Indonesia. The smallest lizard is the Monito gecko (Sphaerodactyla parthenopion) found in the Virgin Islands with a head-body length of only two-thirds inch. Alas, it has not been given its own coin.

So, in case you have an interest in these kinds of things, here is a list of Caribbean coins with lizards on them:

The British Virgin Islands 1994 $25 (KM-159) depicts the critically endangered Anegada rock iguana (Cyclura pinguis).

The critically endangered Lesser Caymans rock iguana is depicted on the Cayman Islands 1992 $1 (KM-111). The 1995 $1 (KM-125, pictured above) honors the critically endangered blue rock iguana (Cyclura lewisi).

There also appears to be an undocumented Cayman Islands $100 gold coin with an unknown lizard (blue rock iguana, perhaps?), which has never appeared in the Standard Catalog (which I’m assuming is the bible of all things coin-related).
For Cuba, the lizard on four coins is the Cuban rock lizard (Cyclura nublia nublia). Coins are: 1985 1 peso (KM-126), 1985 1 peso (KM-182), 1985 5 pesos (KM-127) and 2004 10 pesos (KM-799).

The Turks and Caicos 1 crown (KM-64) depicts the critically endangered Turks Island rock iguana (Cyclura carinata) (KM 64).

The Bermuda rock skink (Plestiodon longirostris) is on the 1997 Bermuda $1 (KM-119).

So here it is, just in case one of these comes your way.

For the complete article go to

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