Scottsdale continue their programme of limited silver bullion coins with the Deathstalker Scorpion

Scottsdale Mint has developed a fine reputation in recent years for some pretty cool low-mid mintage silver bullion coins. Usually nature-themed, they’ve included such well known examples as the Silverback Gorilla series, the Congo Water Buffalo, and the Cayman Islands Marlin, amongst others. While there has been the occasional release in something beefier, most issues have been in the hugely popular on troy-ounce format and that’s the case here.

The Deathstalker Scorpion is an unusual and very cool subject for a bullion coin, although not the first archnid to feature on one. A mix of the stylistic and realistic, we like the design of this one a lot. The representation of the scorpion is excellent and rather than similarly replicate a background to match, an abstract one is used instead. The font used for the coin inscription is a little heavy metal cliched, but we can’t really argue it doesn’t fit in well.

The obverse features the emblem of the Republic of Chad in its centre, surrounded by the inscribed date (2017), denomination (500 FRANCS CFA), composition (1 TROY OUNCE)(.999 FINE SILVER) and issuer (REPUBLIQUE DU TCHAD). It actually themes in very well with the main reverse face as it so often does with nature themed coins from the African continent.

Limited in mintage to the usual Scottsdale 50,000 units, this would be a great coin to add to the collection. Obviously stackers will need to check out the premiums before investing in big numbers, but these don’t usually have an onerous premium and there’s always the likelihood that these will garner a better appreciation than a Maple, for example. A good addition to the market. Available now, encapsulated in strips of five although dealers will no doubt sell smaller or larger quantities without issue.

2017 DEATHSTALKER SCORPION SILVER BULLION COIN

DEATHSTALKER SCORPION

The Deathstalker (Leiurus quinquestriatus) is a member of the Buthidae family of scorpions. It is also known as Israeli or Palestine yellow scorpion, Omdurman scorpion, Naqab desert scorpion and many other colloquial names, which generally originate from the commercial captive trade of the animal. To eliminate confusion, especially important with potentially dangerous species, the scientific name is normally used to refer to them. The name Leiurus quinquestriatus roughly translates into English as “five-striped smooth-tail”. Other species of the genus Leiurus are also often referred to as “deathstalkers”.

The Deathstalker Scorpion is yellow with darker highlights on the tail, and 30–77 millimetres long, with an average length of 58 mm. They top out at around 2.5 grams in weight. They can be found in desert and scrubland habitats ranging from North Africa through to the Middle East. Its range covers a wide sweep of territory in the Sahara, Arabian Desert, Thar Desert, and Central Asia, from Algeria and Mali in the west through Egypt, Ethiopia, Asia Minor and the Arabian Peninsula, eastwards to Kazakhstan and western India in the northeast and southeast.

The deathstalker is one of the most dangerous species of scorpions. Its venom is a powerful mixture of neurotoxins, with a low lethal dose. While a sting from this scorpion is extraordinarily painful, it normally would not kill a healthy adult human. However, young children, the elderly, or infirm (such as those with a heart condition and those who are allergic) are at much greater risk. Any envenomation runs the risk of anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction to the venom. A study from Israel shows a high rate of pancreatitis following envenomation. If a sting from Leiurus quinquestriatus does prove deadly, the cause of death is usually pulmonary edema.

SPECIFICATION

NAME 2017 DEATHSTALKER SCORPION
DENOMINATION 500 Francs CFA (CHAD)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIAMETER 38.6 mm
FINISH Brilliant uncirculated
MODIFICATIONS None
MINTAGE 50,000
BOX / COA No / No
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