Canada delves back into its amazing prehistoric past with a new two-coin rimless fossil coin series

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…

2017 ANCIENT CANADA ORTHOMIMUS SILVER COIN

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Ornithomimus fossils, like the one depicted on your splash-struck coin, changed the way we think about feathered dinosaurs. By studying three specimens found in the Badlands of Alberta, paleontologists concluded that Ornithomimus was covered in down-like feathers that, as the dinosaur matured, developed into long feathers on its arms to form primitive wings. This suggests wings appeared much earlier in the evolutionary timeline—and were first used for display rather than flight!

Your coin’s design was based on fossil specimen TMP 1995.110.1 curated at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta. The rimless coin’s unusual contour is the product of an old coin-making technique that allows the pure silver to spill out, producing an irregular shape reminiscent of an ancient Roman coin. In contrast, cutting-edge technology and finishing techniques add a smooth appearance to the engraved fossils of the feathered dinosaur Ornithomimus, which shines bright in comparison to the textured appearance of the sandstone-like encasing throughout your coin. The entire design has an unmistakably ancient look and feel, thanks to a patina finish that gives your coin its aged look, coupled with the prehistoric-looking font used on both sides of your coin.

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SPECIFICATION

NAME 2017 ANCIENT CANADA – ORTHOMIMUS
DENOMINATION $20 Canadian
COMPOSITION 0.9999 silver
WEIGHT 31.39 grams
DIAMETER 38 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Rimless
MINTAGE 50,000
BOX / COA Yes / Yes

MINT LINK

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By | 2017-03-07T14:02:30+00:00 March 7th, 2017|Categories: Nature, Silver, Canada, Royal Canadian Mint|0 Comments

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