The last half-decade or so has seen a resurgence in the popularity of meteorite coins, those in which a piece of actual rock from one of these bodies has been inset. Such luminaries as the Mint of Poland, Coin Invest Trust, and MCI-Mint, have all embraced the concept and released some seriously impressive designs. A huge 1kg design from MCI and an outstanding Moon coin from the Mennica Polska have been some of the more recent highlights, and we’ll cover a few more this week that prove the popularity isn’t waning.
This time around we turn to a new player in the market, the respected Spanish producer, Moneda Nueva. Makers of our favourite Lunar Snake coin, the Masterpieces in Stone series, and the beautiful 1kg Taj Mahal coin, they’re not the most prolific producer around, but what they do release is of a very high standard. Their first meteorite coin looks to be another excellently designed, well crafted piece of work.
Featuring the famous Sikhote-Alin meteorite, the coin is the first to feature an entire meteorite rather than a prepared fragment, weighing approximately 3g. Landing on February 12 1947 just north of Vladivostok, the meteorite entered the Earths atmosphere at an estimated speed of some 31,000 mph (14.5km/s), the largest mass breaking up in a violent explosion just 3½ miles above the ground. Some of the fragments called ‘complete individuals’ are ones that broke off early in the descent before the explosion and are likely what is mounted to the coin.
The coin itself is struck in sterling silver (0.925), and a chunky 170g (to give a fine silver weight of 5oz) in weight. The design is very modern, clean on the reverse, yet with a really well designed obverse as well, carrying minimal inscriptions and a relatively unobtrusive symbol of the issuing country, the Republic of Chad. Packaging is similarly crisp and modern, suiting the coin very well, and incorporating a Certificate of Authenticity. Only 500 of these will be struck, and they look like they’ll be selling for just under €400. It should ship towards the end of January. A fine effort.