Fresh releases bring the meteorite coin genre back to the fore, including one made of it!

The meteorite coin genre has seen a few new releases lately, so it’s time for a round-up of the best four of them to hit the market this quarter. Coins like this are favourites of ours, combining a good realisation of the actual natural phenomena, with pieces of real meteorite embedded within them. It was a clever idea when CIT started doing it well over a decade ago, and it remains so today. Indeed, this kind of coin has benefited fully from advances in high-relief, high detail minting.

Nothing from CIT here today, but three of the four originate at that other bastion of the genre in recent years, the Mint of Poland. There’s a great selection here, with different finishes and subjects, as well as a fascinating piece from Mint21 that is actually struck in meteorite material itself – no precious metal at all. Copernicus and Space Mining II are distributed by Pela Coins, Fukang by the Mint of Gdansk, and The Legend of the Nibelungs by Top World Coins/Mint21. Nice to see the genre alive and well – proof that ancient mythology has a fight on its hand.


The first coin we’re looking at is the most unusual. The only one of the four here not to have space as its theme, it’s also the only coin to be made of actual meteorite itself. Only the second time we’ve ever seen this – the first being its own forebear, the coin is struck using blanks sliced from actual Muonionalusta meteorite.

Impacting in what is now northern Scandinavia, but a million years ago, the first fragment discovered was found in 1906 and named after the nearby Muono river by Professor A. G. Högbom four years later. Around forty pieces of this iron octahedrite meteorite are known today, and further investigation has placed its age at around 4.57 billion years – the oldest known. For context, that’s 70 times further back in time than the age of Tyrannosaurus Rex!

The coin has taken an epic early 13th century German poem called Nibelungenlied (The Song of the Nibelungs) as its inspiration. What’s the connection, you may ask. A meteorite is a major element in the story. The heroes, Siegfried and Brunhild, follow a falling star and end up with a weapon forged from the unearthly material. There’s a lot more to the story, but the link is pretty clear and logical.

Struck in an ounce of material, it apes a standard coin in every significant way, with even the coloured image of the heroes looking just as it would on a silver coin. The pattern in the material is quite beautiful and is called the Widmanstätten pattern, consisting of a fine interleaving of kamacite and taenite bands or ribbons called lamellae. Quite unique in the numismatic world.

Just 818 of these will be made and they come in a wooden box with a certificate of authenticity. Definitely the oddball choice here, and we love it for that reason.

$1 NZD (Niue) Pure meteorite 31.1 g 42.0 mm Proof 818 YES / YES


The second in the Mint of Poland’s Space Mining series, Space Mining II, this is a different take on the meteorite genre by eschewing the usual impact crater motif, with the potential for mankind to mine the rich resources present on them while still in space. Like the first coin, this is packed full of detail and neat touches, displaying a scene of a mining operation in progress.

Rimless and antique finished, this high-relief coin has a neat gilded ‘seam’ running through the artwork, meant to highlight just why the miners are up there. Apiece of actual meteorite is embedded within the design. In this case it’s the chondritic Dar el Kaha meteorite, found in northern Mali earlier this decade.

The obverse has in the centre the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, surrounded by a border with a subtle rock pattern around it. Packaging is a good quality wooden box and there will be an enclosed certificate of authenticity informing you of which of the 666 minted you have. A fascinating subject and a well depicted look into the future.

$1 NZD (Niue) 0.999 Silver 31.1 g 38.61 mm Antique 666 YES / YES


The Fukang meteorite, a pallasite iron meteorite with olivine crystals, was found in the mountains near Fukang, China in 2000. It’s another one aged at circa 4.5 billion years old, a quite staggering number, especially when it’s something you can hold and touch. No lightweight, over 1,000 kilos of this meteorite have been collected, some very sizeable fragments included. Ten years ago, the auctioneer Bonhams put the main mass up[ for sale. While it didn’t sell, it was expected to fetch around $2m.

The coin is a familiar one to longer term collectors of the genre’s coins. Two ounces in weight, rimless and struck to an ultra-high relief, this is another great looking impact design, holding a fragment of the meteorite in the ‘crater’.  You can almost see the power of the impact from the striations in the coin, enhanced by the copper plating and antique finish. The obverse, depicting the impact trajectory from space, does a great job of spicing up the usually staid Niue obverse.

Also supplied boxed with a certificate of authenticity, the mintage sticks with the weird 666 pieces. A typically great Mint of Poland issue, who along with CIT Coin Invest, are definitely at the top of this genre.

$5 NZD (Niue) 0.999 Silver 62.2 g 50.0 mm Copper plating 666 YES / YES


Very similar to the Fukang meteorite issue, Copernicus Moon Crater is part of the Universe Craters series and gets by with an ounce of silver instead of two. It doesn’t seem to have constrained the designers in any way, as there’s lashings of relief on offer and the obligatory meteorite fragment embedded in the crater. This time around it’s a fragment of the Lunar impact, NWA 8609, the NWA designation denoting it was discovered in North West Africa.

Not a huge meteorite, at least what has been found since the initial discovery in 2014, NWA 8609 tops out at just 45 grams, so the 666 coins will have taken a significant chunk of that. A great looking coin and another one that really seems to pull off the whole ‘impact crater’ look with aplomb. Just the coin title is inscribed on the reverse face, in that neat font the Mint of Poland loves so much.

The obverse depicts a cratered lunar landscape, reminding us of what the surface of the Earth would look like without the active geology and weather we have. As it’s a Niue issue, the obligatory effigy of Queen Elizabeth takes pride of place in the centre, but not overpoweringly so as it does in many cases. Again, a box and certificate round out the presentation of this fine release.

$1 NZD (Niue) 0.999 Silver 31.1 g 38.61 mm Antique 666 YES / YES