The Velociraptor and Dilophosaurus come back to life as a pair of new silver miniatures

We don’t normally cover much in the way of silver miniatures, preferring to stick to the precious metal coin market above all else, but the New Zealand Mint range, now quiet for quite some time, was a natural progression to their many coin franchises, so we added them in for variety. Another company we’ve been aware of for some time, is the Singapore-based producer Heads or Tales, who have, over the last few years, offered up an impressive range of cast silver miniatures, like the Queen’s Beasts and Ancient Egyptian Gods, for example.

After seeing their latest pair of figures, we thought it time to share with our readers, the sucker that I am for anything dinosaur related. Inspired by the whole Jurassic Park movie world, but not copied from, they’ve taken some of the most iconic animals featured in the blockbusters for subjects. The latest subjects have been assigned to a new series called Lost Worlds: predators (the first six statures were under the simpler ‘Lost Worlds’ moniker) and feature the smaller, but far more interesting pairing of Dilophosaurus and Velociraptor.

Both creatures became stars of the film franchise, Dilophosaurus for killing off Newman from Seinfeld, and the Velociraptor for simply becoming one of the staple characters in the whole movie trilogy. Each of the animals is, of course, subject to quite a bit of artistic licence, but there’s still no denying they make great subjects for miniaturisation in our favourite precious metal.

Each stands approximately 6 cm in height and weighs around 8 troy ounces (250 grams). Both seem to be steps up from the earlier sculpts in terms of detail definition , no doubt helped by the beasts themselves being smaller than most of those in the first wave. Whatever the reason, these are wonderful pieces which must have been quite difficult to cast. The Dilophosaurus in particular is a beautifully dynamic pose.

There are a 1,000 of each figure being cast, and they’re antique finished, with the serial number and composition engraved on the base. It’s great to see the use of recycled silver from e-waste in the production of their products. We wish more would take this route.A Certificate of Authenticity is enclosed inside the box. Available now, they can be bought direct from Hotco, or from select dealers, like JM Bullion in the US.

VELOCIRAPTOR

As we said earlier, considerable artistic licence was taken when Jurassic Park brought the dinos to life, and Velociraptor is one of the worst offenders. In reality, this dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaur wasn’t any larger than a turkey, certainly not the man hunting predator of the movies. It was also likely covered in feathers. It was bipedal, with a long tail and the now classic sickel-shaped claw on each hindfoot, used to turn its prey’s internal organs into external ones.

The movie Velociraptor stood around 2m tall and weighed in the 80-100 kg range, but the reality was far more mundane, standing just 0.5m in height, and coming in at an oven-friendly 15kg. Velociraptor (latin for ‘swift seizer’) was an active hunter, probably in packs, and is known from two species found in Mongolia. The movie Velociraptor is closer to Deinonychus, but even that wee beastie was feathered and shorter, plus lived up to 40 million years earlier. Ironically, neither lived in the Jurassic period. Artistic licence indeed…

DILOPHOSAURUS

Another dinosaur subject to movie makers exaggeration, Dilophosaurus did actually live in the Early Jurassic, about 193 million years ago. It always fascinates me to point out the kind of timespans being discussed here. If I was to say 63 million years, you would assume that was a number that showed how far away from humans these animals live, but what that number represents is quite amazing and really rams home the dominance of dinosaurs in the evolution of this planet. The difference in time between Dilophosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex, is 63 MILLION YEARS LONGER than the difference between Tyrannosaurus Rex and us!!!

Dilophosaurus (two-crested lizard) is also a theropod dinosaur and was discovered in Northern Arizona in 1940. An altogether more impressive predator than the greatly feared Velociraptor, this one could reach a huge 7m in length and clock in at nealry half a ton in weight. Not a big-built animal, it was likely a fast hunter and quite a terrifying presence. It didn’t have the extravagent cowl or venom spitting ability of the Jurassic Park animal, but neither was it a tiny piece of comic relief either. In reality, it was more brown trousers time, than clown trousers…

OTHER DINOSAURS IN THE ‘LOST WORLDS’ COLLECTION

We’ve got plenty of images in this article, so we won’t weigh it down with more, but it would be remiss not to mention other dinosaurs that Heads or Tales have immortalised in silver. There are the classics like T-Rex, Brachiosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Stegosaurus and Triceratops, but also a Wooly Mammoth for a bit of variety.

In addition, they’ve also reproduced the eight-ounce Tyrannosaurus Rex as a twenty ounce statue as well. That one stands over 16 cm in height. This bigger beast keeps the mintage of 1,000 pieces.

https://www.mdm.de/
SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION Not applicable
COMPOSITION 0.925 silver
WEIGHT approximately 8 troy ounces each
DIMENSIONS Velo H:6.3 W: 5.5 L:4.8 cm – Dilo H:8.3 W: 9.1 L:7.2 cm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Engraved serial on base
MINTAGE 1,000 per
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
HEADS OR TALES CO.