Dennis the Menace would be untouchable if Gnasher looked like the subject of Canadas latest coin

We make no secret of our love of coins featuring prehistoric life and there have been some superb issues over the last few years keeping us happy. Excellent offerings from the Austrian Mint, the Mint of Poland and Coin Invest Trust go a long way to satisfying colletors, but it’s rare to see something bigger on the release schedules – a shame given the sheer enormity of the dinosaur subjects. The Royal Canadian Mint is looking to change that with its latest issue.

Canada has a close association with some of the more widely known and straight up iconic dinosaur species. There are whole swathes of Alberta that continue to yield some quite extraordinary fossil specimens, amongst them a species of Tyrannosaur called Albertasaurus. It’s particularly fitting then that the RCM has chosen the awe-inspiring Tyrannosaurus Rex to adorn a large one-kilo silver coin.

The reverse design depicts a perspective close-in look at a Tyrannosaurus Rex head, with particular emphasis on a set of gnashers that put todays apex predators to shame. Rather than give the job of designing the image to a regular coin designer,  very well regarded paleo-artist called Julius Csotonyi has done the honours, and a fine job has been done. The proof finish on the back eye ridge is a little off perhaps, but we like the design immensely. Even the enamel eye is pretty well done, although it’s something we’d have preffered was absent.

No surprises on the obverse face with Susanna Blunts effigy of Queen Elizabeth II sitting in the centre surrounded by the usual inscriptions. Packaging consists of a maple wood box and there’s an enclosed certificate of authenticity that’s numbered to denote which of the 400 minted you have. Struck in a kilo of fine 0.9999 silver, it reaches out to a healthy 102 mm in diameter.

A great looking coin, although at $2,299.95 not a cheap one, this is one of the best we’ve seen for some time when it comes to coins themed for prehistoric life. Full of detail, anatomically excellent, and with a very cool view of this iconic creature, the artist has done a good job with the design and the mint has done the business with the strike. Available now.

Julius Csotonyi has an impressive portfolio of paleo-art and several superb books of his art are available to buy. Highly recommended for the dinosaur fan and who isn’t one of those…


Canada is a hotbed of fossil finds and many Canadian palaeontologists are at the forefront of new research that is changing the way we view ancient life. The depiction on your coin features the archetypal dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex as it likely appeared in its time (68-66 million years ago); but it too has been the catalyst of new discoveries, and the subject of much debate. Did it have a coat of proto-feathers? Was it a fast-moving hunter? How strong was its sense of smell? Did it move as a pack? Was it a scavenger or a predator, and could it have resorted to cannibalism? These are the questions that reflect the ever-changing nature of palaeontology, as new clues are continuously unlocked with each discovery of these fossilized fragments of history!

DESIGN: Designed by Julius Csotonyi, your coin offers you a rare close encounter with one of the most fearsome predators of the Late Cretaceous Period, some 68-66 million years ago. This depiction of Tyrannosaurus rex is based on current scientific knowledge, and has been reviewed for accuracy by palaeontologists of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta. The three-quarter view allows for the careful study of T. rex’s famous facial features, including the serrated teeth that line its powerful, bone-crunching jaw; but a closer examination reveals an astounding depth to every engraved detail—especially the meticulously sculpted scales that give the skin a reptile-like texture. The viewer’s gaze is easily drawn towards the coloured enamel eye, whose brown-hued iris and round pupil add a splash of life-like colour and intimidating intensity to this ancient carnivore’s chilling stare. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

DID YOU KNOW… Measuring up to six metres in height and 12 metres in length, the bus-sized Tyrannosaurus rex is the largest tyrannosaurid dinosaur to have ever lived! This group includes the smaller-sized Albertosaurus, which was named for the province in which its fossils were first found.
We think of tyrannosaurs as towering apex predators that dominated their ecosystem—and that’s certainly how T. rex has been popularly portrayed! But earlier tyrannosaurs were much smaller and more widespread than their Late Cretaceous relatives. One of T. rex’s oldest known ancestor is thought to be Proceratosaurus, which lived during the Middle Jurassic Period and was likely just three metres long.
Surprisingly, a few other species are known to have a larger-sized skull than T. rex, including Spinosaurus, Mapusaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, and the aptly named Giganotosaurus.
T. rex’s fearsome-looking teeth came in useful for gripping and tearing into its prey, but its jaw was far more lethal: based on computer models, it likely exerted a bone-crushing force equivalent to its 8,000-kilogram body crashing down on its prey!

DENOMINATION $250 Canadian
COMPOSITION 0.9999 silver
WEIGHT 1,006.00 grams
DIAMETER 102.1 mm
MODIFICATIONS Coloured enamel eye
BOX / COA Yes / Yes