A blistering hot day in Tahoua, a region in the west of the African country Niger, and a seven-year-old Tuareg boy tracking a stray goat looks up at the sky and witnesses a flaming ball fall from the sky and impact the ground. It is the afternoon of 21 August 1991, and the Taizerzait meteorite had just ‘landed’ on Earth right by the feature that gave it its name, Mt. Tazerzait. Classified as a chondrite, the Tazerzait meteorite is very unusual in displaying very little alteration from the shock of the impact and a relatively long cosmic exposure age. Weighing around 110kg, the Tauregs broke up the chunk of rock into manageable pieces, the largest weighing around 30kg, and from there it went out into the world.
Some of it has ended up embedded in the front of 699 silver coins struck for MCI-Mint and issued for the country that the meteorite had the bad manners to gatecrash, Niger. Except for around 50% of the reverse face being coloured, the coin is antique-finished, a speciality for the German coin producer, and adorning the coloured sky is a small piece of the Mt. Tazerzait meteorite itself. An ounce of fine (0.999) silver in weight, the coin comes in a nice box which sits in a coloured shipper. Inside the box is a Certifcicate of Authenticity.
With meteorite coins now representing a significant area of interest for collectors, and with an ever-increasing level of variety and innovation being applied to them, it seems MCI have made a sensible decision to increase their presence in the genre. Another one for the custom meteorite-shaped coin box perhaps. Available now for around €140.