Always eager for new prehistoric life coins, they do appear with a reasonable regularity, but it isn’t a genre that enjoys the sky-high benchmark quality levels of the art-architectural or ancient gods. There have been some fine designs and the Royal canadian Mint has been one of those putting some of them out. Time to debut a new series and about the only thing we don’t like is that there will only be two coins in total.
It’s no secret how much we love the Monnaie de Paris series, Clovis to Republic, and its sequel, Women of France. Produced with what the mint calls a ‘Historical Strike’, this basically means the die has no bordering rim to ensure the coin maintains that perfectly round shape. As a result, the metal flows out under pressure just slightly, giving each coin an uneven edge that is slightly different. It’s a cool look and now the RCM have launched antiqued fossil coins using the same technique.
The first coin depicts Orthomimus, a swift bipedal theropod from the Late Cretaceous Period of what is now North America, which fossil evidence indicates was covered in feathers, equipped with a small toothless beak that may indicate an omnivorous diet. The best material of species still considered part of the genus has been found in Alberta, Canada, representing the species O. edmontonicus, known from several skeletons from the early Maastrichtian Horseshoe Canyon Formation. The depiction is based on a specific fossil in the Royal Tyrrell Museum. The obverse is Canada’s usual Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.
A fine coin for the palaeontology nut, the neat and compact floating display frame will make this easy to display in the midst of a small fossil collection. The mintage is limited to an unusual 5,500 pieces and is priced at $134.95 CAD. A certificate of authenticity is enclosed. Available to buy now, this gets a thumbs up from me, although I love fossils so there’s plenty of bias…