Meteorite coins are back with a trip to the striking Canadian Pingualuit crater impact
Meteorite coins continue to be released on a regular basis, although at a slower pace than a couple of years ago, and continue to enjoy a high standard of design and quality. While the modern take on the genre, the coins with an inset fragment of actual meteorite material, was initiated by Coin Invest Trust (CIT), others such as MCI and the Mint of Poland have also released a great selection over the last half-decade or so.
It’s the Mint of Poland’s excellent ultra high-relief series that we’re looking at here and this is the fifth coin to debut in the range. Launched in 2014 with an excellent Canyon Diablo coin, it quickly sold out and made the series one to watch. Carrying a kind of gnarly look, the appearance certainly lended itself well to suggesting a meteorite impact had taken place on the coin face, helped by the fragment placed in the centre of the shock wave. Rimless, antique-finished and with a 666 mintage, the coin predictably sold out.
After Wolfe Creek in 2015, Popigai in 2016 and Gosses Bluff last year, we head to Canada for Pingualuit and the look of this one is instantly recognisable. The mint hasn’t been afraid to experiment with finishes, having tried copper-plating previously, but the coloured antique finish used on the 2018 issue is certainly new. Meant to replicate the icy environment that this isolated strike site sits in no doubt, it’s an appropriate look for this subject. The obverse features the Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by a rock-texture border. It’s also blue-antiqued.
This has always been a favourite series of ours, although we do like the genre as a whole, so no surprise there. It stands alongside CIT’s even longer running series and some fine efforts by Numiscollect, as coins that astronomy nuts should really want in a collection. At an ounce of fine silver in weight, they’re not too high-end to be unaffordable, but meteorite fragments are hardly bargain basement items, so it’s unfair to expect this to be a bottom end item. The issuing distributor Pela Coins has them for sale, as do other of our sponsors who continue to do well with items from this impressive mint. Packaged in a wooden box inside a themed slip cover, the mintage remains at 666 pieces and a certificate of authenticity is included.
PINGUALUIT IMPACT CRATER
Set in the Ungava Peninsula of Quebec in Canada, Pingualuit Crater is a 1.4 million year old, near circular meteorite impact site. Rarely explored because of its remote location, it’s only recently that work is being done to find out more about this relatively recent strike site. Rising 160m above the surrounding tundra, the 3.44 km wide crater is a phenomenal 400m deep – one of the very deepest in North America.
The water here is crystal clear as the crater lacks any inlets and outlets. The only way that water gets in is through precipitation and the only way it gets out is through evaporation. Objects can be seen 35m under the water because of the clarity. The salinity is extremely low. The Great Lakes have a salinity of 500 parts per million, yet at Pingualuit the figure is a barely noticeable 3 ppm. The lake is covered in ice for nine months of the year. The only species of fish in the crater lake are Arctic Char, Salvelinus alpinus. A member of the Salmonidae, no other freshwater fish is found so far north.
The meteorite that caused the crater was likely chondritic – one that is stony (non-metallic) in nature and very ancient.
|DENOMINATION||$1 New Zealand|
|MODIFICATIONS||Inset meteorite fragment|
|BOX / COA||Yes / Yes|
Hi Leandro, how’re things? I was referring in the article to it being new for this series, like copper-plating was last time, which as you know is an old technique.
I bought a coin from the Celestial Bodies Moon series last year. This coin is not blue antique finish, this blue enamel, quite different technology. You insult the Polish Mint 🤔
Antiquing comes in quite a few forms, so even making it blue wouldn’t mean all the different coins are going to look the same. The Art Mint coin has an antiqued obverse for sure. The enamel finish is on the reverse face. Both coins look pretty cool in my opinion.