MDM Week: Triceratops, the triple-horned behemoth, is their second Double SIlver Giant hybrid coin

While the whole concept of copper-cored silver coins is largely limited to Precious Metal Collector’s expansive range, there are a couple of similar issues from others. Last year saw MDM launch a terrific Tyrannosaurus Rex coin that also had a silver ‘skin’, but in that case, one that allowed the copper to be visible on the edge. It was also a chunky coin, but one which contained just 10 grams of silver, from a total weight of 155 grams, the rest obviously copper, so it managed to employ lots of high-relief, yet still hit a 60mm diameter.

This year sees the second issue in this ‘Double Silver Giants’ series. The common obverse of this series depicts some dinosaur images placed in a circle around the rim. Including such creatures as a sauropod, a Stegosaurus, and the iconic Spinosaurus Aegypticus, we naturally assumed this was the line-up of animals that would be featured in the series moving forward. Given the second subject is Triceratops – doesn’t seem present on that obverse (although the animal at the 4-o-clock position could at a stretch be one)  – we may be wrong. It remains very pretty, however, with the emblem of the issuer, Vanuatu, sitting at its centre.

The main attraction remains the striking reverse face depiction of the subject. Triceratops, with its huge bony frill and triple horned visage, which looks amazing here. The view is similar to that of the T-Rex, a three-quarter frontal portrait of an animal that seems to have noticed the viewer. It’s every bit the equal of last years debut release and is likewise awash with beautiful skin texture and surrounding foliage. Quite superb.

As before, the mintage is 1,999 pieces and it comes nicely presented, and with a Certificate of Authenticity. I can honestly say there’s little to criticise here, and it’s a fine example of how the use of a base metal in conjunction with precious metal can allow numismatic art to reach new sizes without decimating the contents of your wallet. We’re predicting this is going to be one of the best dinosaur coin series to hit the coin market, and we look forward to seeing it grow. Hopefully, we can snag one of the two releases for an AgAuShoot soon.


Triceratops is an extinct genus of herbivorous ceratopsid dinosaur that first appeared during the Late Cretaceous period, about 68 million years ago, in what is now North America. It is one of the last-known non-avian dinosaur genera, and became extinct in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago.

Bearing a large bony frill, three horns on the skull, and a large four-legged body, exhibiting convergent evolution with rhinoceroses and bovines, Triceratops is one of the most recognizable of all dinosaurs. It was also one of the largest, up to 9 meters long and 12 metric tons in weight. It shared the landscape with and was possibly preyed upon by Tyrannosaurus, though it is less certain that two adults did battle in the fanciful manner often depicted in museum displays and popular images.

The functions of the frills and three distinctive facial horns on its head have long inspired debate. Traditionally, these have been viewed as defensive weapons against predators. More recent interpretations find it probable that these features were primarily used in species identification, courtship, and dominance display, much like the antlers and horns of modern ungulates.

Triceratops was traditionally placed within the “short-frilled” ceratopsids, but modern cladistic studies show it to be a member of the Chasmosaurinae which usually have long frills. Two species, T. horridus and T. prorsus, are considered valid today, from the seventeen species that have ever been named. Research published in 2010 concluded that the contemporaneous Torosaurus, a ceratopsid long regarded as a separate genus, represents Triceratops in its mature form. This view has been disputed; further data is needed to settle the debate.

Triceratops has been documented by numerous remains collected since the genus was first described in 1889 by American paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh. Specimens representing life stages from hatchling to adult have been found.

Source: Wikipedia

DENOMINATION 10 Vatu (Vanuatu)
SILVER CONTENT 2 x 5 grams 0.999
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes