Despite popular belief, spiders are not always the predator in the macro world, often coming off second best to the occasional centipede or wasp, but very few arthropods have spiders as their main diets. One such creature is Isometroides vescus, the Australian Spiral Burrow, or Spider-hunting Scorpion. With a diet almost exclusively made up of Wolf Spiders (Lycosa), this charming little monster wanders Australia stuffing its face with hairy legs.
Found all over Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, Tahiti and Samoa, and growing up to 6cm (2.4″) in length, this orangey-yellow scorpion is not deadly to humans, although they are venomous.
Deadly and Dangerous has been a huge hit, with early coins now going for many multiples of the issue price, in particular the Red-Back Spider often breaks over $1,000. Many of the early coins were re-issued in 2011 with a slightly changed design just for the Russian market and have a mintage of just 2,000 pieces instead of the original coins 5,000. Unfortunately, the design was slightly compromised by the addition of a reverse-side border inscription in Russian which results in the original artwork being shrunk slighty. At least this helps maintain value of the originals.
The last couple of releases, while maintaining the high standards of the first coins have not appreciated very quickly leaving many to believe the series was finally running out of steam. Our own view is that this excellent series will continue on and the inevitable cooling is the result of high prices on the secondary market for earlier coins that has made it almost impossible for 99%+ of collectors to obtain a set.
REVERSE: Depicts a coloured Spider-Hunting Scorpion starting to munch down on a dead Wolf Spider that is depicted on its back. The inscription ‘AUSTRALIAS SPIDER HUNTING SCORPION’ sits at the top of the coin.
OBVERSE: Features the Ian Rank Broadley portrait of Queen Elizabeth II around which are inscribed her name, the date, the denomination, and the issuing country, in this case Tuvalu.
PACKAGING: The excellent wooden convertible display box that has been a feature of this series since the beginning continues on and is packaged inside a custom coloured outer shipper.
|1 DOLLAR||0.999 Ag||31.135g||40.60mm||PROOF||5,000|
Superb scorpion image used in our feature image by Mark A. Nelson