We love a prehistoric coin here, but they come along so rarely these days we’d almost think an asteroid had landed on Mintsville. Fortunately, and with an incredible piece of lucky timing, the New Zealand Mint has launched the first of its new ‘Dinosaurs’ series, and started off with the big bad of the Cretaceous, Tyrannosaurus Rex itself, the fabled Tyrant Lizard.
Why is this lucky timing? Just a few hours before we wrote this article, the first new Tyrannosaurid species to be discovered in Alberta for fifty years was announced. Called Thanatotheristes, it is the oldest species of Tyrannosaurid yet found in the region and just shy of 80 mya. Its name means “Reaper of Death”, about as subtle as a brick to the forehead, but probably quite apt. At 12m in length, it didn’t quite hit T.Rex levels of heft, but it was still large enough to ruin the day of anything it fancied a nibble on.
The coin is of a format this Antipodean mint has plenty of experience with. A one-ounce, antique-finished silver coin with selective colouring on the reverse is something they had plenty of success with, using it on their Warriors of History, and Battles That Changed History ranges. The antique finish and muted colour pattern are a good match for the subject, and the image is a good one, complete with appropriate background.
A nice themed box with the new-style hologram-adorned Certificate of Authenticity completes the package. The NZ Mint usually issues series like these over the space of a year or two, rather than just a single annual issue, so we’d expect to see at least two more of these through 2020, possibly as many as four. At $80.00 USD, they’re relatively affordable for the casual collector. Available today.