MCI-Mint bring their prehistoric silver coin series forward in time to the giant armoured Glyptodon

German private coin producer, MCI-Mint has long been issuing prehistoric creature coins, from Tyrannosaurus Rex and Spinosaurus, through to the Smilodon (and the Loch Ness Monster 😉 ) and so it’s no surprise that another has appeared. This time it’s an unusual subject, but an absolutely fascinating one. Glyptodon is a huge armoured armadillo that lived as recently as 10,000 years ago and can only be described as the mammal equivalent of the famous dinosaur Ankylosaurus.

We can’t say we’ve ever seen this particular critter on a coin before, but it’s certainly good to see MCI embrace some of the more off-the-wall creatures that populate our past. While the subject is unusual, the coin format is not. An antiqued one ounce of silver is pretty typical for MCI, as is the standard relief strike, but the presence of the ‘real-eye’ inserts makes this a little unusual.

The main design depicts the Glyptodons head, showing the bony head plate and a little segment of the main shell behind. It’s a shame that more of this very unusual beast wasn’t depicted. The coin name, composition and date are inscribed away from the artwork, so as not to distract. issued for the African state of Burkina Faso, one MCI has exclusive coin rights to, the obverse carries that nations cool-looking emblem, surrounding which are the rest of the coin inscriptions.

The coin is supplied in a box with a certificate of authenticity, box of which sit inside a themed shipper box. The coin is available to buy now, although sells for a not insubstantial €139.00, although this is offset somewhat by the relatively small mintage of 500. Available to buy direct from MCI-Mint, although some of these coins do appear at other dealers like Powercoin for example.



Glyptodon (from Greek for “grooved or carved tooth) was a genus of large, armored mammal of the subfamily Glyptodontinae and were relatives of armadillos that lived during the Pleistocene epoch. It was roughly the same size and weight as a Volkswagen Beetle, though flatter in shape. With its rounded, bony shell and squat limbs, it superficially resembled a turtle, and the much earlier dinosaurian ankylosaur – providing an example of the convergent evolution of unrelated lineages into similar forms. Glyptodon measured 3.3 metres in length, 1.5 metres in height and weighed up to 2 tonnes.

Glyptodon originated in South America. Their remains have been found in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. The environments range from forested areas, sub-forested, to warm and humid, while some have become accustomed to open, cold areas where grasslands are the most common. The occurrence of the genus has also been observed in the southwestern part of the Amazon basin, which suggests that the wide diversity of the genus was due to the diverse climates within its range. During the Great American Interchange, a set of migrations that occurred after North and South America were connected by the rising of the volcanic Isthmus of Panama, Glyptodon migrated into Central America as far as Guatemala. A closely related genus, Glyptotherium, reached the southern region of the modern U.S. about 2.5 million years ago.

Glyptotherium is believed to have been an herbivore, grazing on grasses and other plants found near rivers and small bodies of water. They became extinct about 10,000 years ago. The native human population in their range is believed to have hunted them and used the shells of dead animals as shelters in inclement weather. 


COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIAMETER 38.61 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS ‘Real-eye’ inserts
BOX / COA Yes / Yes