One of nature’s finest aerial hunters, the dragonfly, is cast in silver as a new coin for the Republic of Cameroon

It’s hard not to look on in wonder at the aerobatics of the dragonfly. Able to propel itself in six directions almost instantly (including backwards), they can pull 9g in a turn, hit over 50 km/h, and have the highest observed hunting success rate in the animal kingdom – up to 97%. For comparison, a Great White Shark is around half that, and a domestic cat, around a third. Even their larva are impressive at it.

With their multi-faceted compound eyes, two pairs of wings, and often stunning colouration, it would be easy to think they were a niche creature, but they’re found on every continent except Antarctica, at heights up to 3.7 km, although diversity decreases the further away from sea level you get. Most of the 3,000+ known species are tropical. The biggest modern species is the Giant Hawker at 163 mm, although a prehistoric griffinfly (an early extinct predecessor group) called Meganeuropsis, hit a staggering 750 mm, with a body length of up to 470 mm. Even Cossack, the site mascat, might balk at that. Then again, the nutter will probably ride around on it…

A dimensional coin, no matter how extravagant, is going to capture the full glory of the dragonfly, so World Coin Appreciation have sensibly gone a different route. Cast in just 7 grams of sterling silver, this Cameroonian coin nevertheless has a fine go at reproducing one. The four wings and six legs are all present, along with that distinctive segmented abdomen, and prominent eyes.

The issue details of the coin are engraved on the underside of the wings. Overall, it doesn’t have massive levels of detail, but given the seven gram weight, it does an admirable job, and should be affordable. A mintage of just 333 pieces adds some more appeal. Available to order now, it should ship late July/early August.

500 Francs CFA (Cameroon) 7.0 g of 0.925 silver 40.0 x 47.0 mm Proof 333