Another in a succession of meteorite coins that have been appearing on the market from various mints over the last eight or so years, this Wolfe Creek Crater coin is the second in it particular series after the release of the Canyon Diablo coin in 2014.
As with most coins of this theme, pride of place goes to an inset piece of the actual meteorite, but this series has it sat on the coin at the low point of an ultra-high relief reverse side, and the chunk is far larger than most that have gone before. Previous coins have always had a tiny chuck embedded in a windowed hole. In many respects it’s a fairly standard specification, being 1oz of fine silver, 38.61mm diameter and with an antique finish. The actual coin is anything but standard however, bearing a deep relief and a plated (copper?) rim.
Like last years Canyon Diablo, it really is quite a superb example of the genre, being beautifully struck and highly detailed. The concentric ‘ripples’ just scream out ‘impact‘, and the textures struck into them are pretty impressive. As good as the Canyon Diablo coin was, this one improves on it in our view. It comes packaged in a box with a thick capsule to protect the insert and will ship late next month. Prices on these are a lot lower than on the recent Erta Ale volcano coin, for example, and sit firmly below €150 on pre-order, good for a coin of only 666 mintage.
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WOLFE CREEK CRATER
Situated in Western Australia, Wolfe Creek Crater is the result of a 50,000 tonne meteorite impact that occurred under 300,000 years ago. Averaging 875 metres wide and 60 metres deep from base to crater, the crater is the star attraction in Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater National Park.
Spotted during an aerial survey in 1947 and investigated at ground level just two months later, details were published two years later and it’s the crater second most undeformed by erosion after Barringer Crater in Arizona.
Small numbers of iron meteorites have been found in the vicinity of the crater, as well as larger so-called ‘shale-balls’, rounded objects made of iron oxide, some weighing as much as 250 kg.
The local Djaru (Jaru) Aboriginal people refer to the crater as Kandimalal. There are multiple Dreaming stories about the formation of the crater. One such story describes the crater’s round shape being formed by the passage of a rainbow snake out of the earth, while another snake formed the nearby Sturt Creek. Another story, as told by an Elder, is that one day the crescent moon and the evening star passed very close to each other. The evening star became so hot that it fell to the ground, causing an enormous explosion and flash, followed by a dust cloud. This frightened the people and a long time passed before they ventured near the crater to see what had happened. When they finally went there, they realised that this was the site where the evening star had fallen to the Earth. The Djaru people then named the place “Kandimalal” and it is prominent in art from the region.
THE FIRST COIN FROM 2014 FEATURED THE CANYON DIABLO METEORITE
|DENOMINATION||$1 NEW ZEALAND|
|BOX / COA||YES / YES|