The hectic world of ants launches Mint XXI’s new ‘Nature Architects’ series of high-relief silver coins

Who hasn’t ever been fascinated by ants? Dating back to the early Cretaceous period at least, ants have had considerable diversity throughout their long time on this planet. It’s estimated that there are approximately 22,000 species, many forming colonies comprised of literally millions of individuals. These are often termed ‘superorganisms’, because they work to support the colony in a collective manner.

The biggest colonies are made up of different types of ant. The bulk of a colony consists of wingless and sterile females, which function as workers, soldiers, or other specialised types, along with some winged males, which are fertile, and queens, which are few, and also fertile. Their societies exhibit classic divisions of labour, widespread internal communication, and problem-solving abilities. It’s all quite amazing, and is the reason they’re one of the most successful animal species to have ever existed on Earth, in some places, making up as much as 25% of the total biomass.

Obviously, a great idea for a coin, but one that we’d imagine is quite difficult to realise on a small metal disc. Ants get their strength and ingenuity from numbers, so there’s no better way to depict them, than to show what that entails. The coin features dozens of the wee beasties hard at work on the ground, foraging for whatever the colony needs. The highlight is a gilded leaf, fulfilling the function of focal point, without which we think the coin would be far less interesting. There looks to be lots of fine, high-relief detail, and the antique finish suits it well.

The obverse is a simple one, sadly, with the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II the main element. The coin is presented in a wooden box with a Certificate of Authenticity, wrapped up in a nice themed shipper. It’s two-ounces of 0.999 silver, and has a mintage of 500 pieces. A great debut for a series that opens up some intriguing possibilities for the future. The natural world is great at building intricate structures, and the builders deserve some credit! Available to order now, it should ship in mid-late June.

DENOMINATION 10 Cedis (Republic of Ghana)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief, gilding
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes