Archive

Fifth and Final Silver Coin in Austrian Mint’s Prehistoric Series

March 19, 2015 - The Austrian Mint released the fifth and final silver coin in its series exploring prehistoric dinosaurs, known as “Back from the Dead.”

Austria / 2015 / 20 euro / Silver .900 / 20 g / 34 mm / Design: Thomas Pesendorfer / Mintage: 50,000.

Austria / 2015 / 20 euro / Silver .900 / 20 g / 34 mm / Design: Thomas Pesendorfer / Mintage: 50,000.

Thomas Pesendorfer, chief engraver of the Austrian Mint, chose to incorporate the well-known woolly mammoth on both sides of the coin. The obverse displays a dominating profile of the woolly mammoth, with a skull and massive tusks in the foreground. The timeline that began on the first coin, continued on the obverse of all four previous coins, is seen here to show that the Quaternary period began about 2.6 million years ago. This side of the coin also includes the country of issue, “Republik Oesterreich,” the year of issue 2015 and the face value of 20 euros.
The obverse of the coin features an Ice Age hunting scene with 2 men and their torches and spears readying to capture their prey.
The Quaternary period still continues today. It is the youngest of all geologic periods. Many temperature fluctuations have occurred during this period as glaciers advanced and retreated to the poles, all the while carving the landscapes we know today. The continents as we know them today have been located in the same place during this period. The Quaternary period is best known perhaps as the time when man stood up and has continued to change the world ever since.

Restoration of a herd of Mammoths walking near the Somme River by Charles R. Knight. Source: Wikipedia.

Restoration of a herd of Mammoths walking near the Somme River by Charles R. Knight. Source: Wikipedia.

The Pleistocene Epoch of the Quaternary period, which lasted from about 1.8 million years ago to about 12,000 years ago, was an extended time of colder weather. During such times up to 30% of the earth was covered in ice. The cold temperatures meant animals such as the woolly mammoth evolved. Warm thick furry coats also protected other giant animals or mega fauna such as the woolly deer and bison. Mammoths thrived during cold periods until they died out at the end of the last Ice Age, some 12,000 years ago. As well, large carnivores such as the sabre tooth tiger and cave bear roamed the lands. It is believed that these mega fauna disappeared largely as a result of hunting by man.
The Pleistocene Epoch was a time when man spread from his earliest known locations in Africa to other locations of the world. Already at this early time, man was using stone tools. Homo sapiens had a larger brain compared with other mammals, allowing for reason and logical thought, and enabling the spread of humans to Europe and Asia and finally to North America.

Coin Specifications
The new coin is available in proof finish-only, contains 18 grams of silver, and is 900 fine, weighs 20 grams, with a diameter is 34 mm. The coin is encapsulated, comes with a certificate of authenticity and is packed a protective case with sleeve.  The maximum mintage for each coin of this series is 50,000.

Augmented Reality
An excellent gateway to the world of prehistoric dinosaurs, with a beat-the-clock coin collecting dinosaur game, is the free augmented reality App for smartphones and tablets. Available with this coin series the App provides in-depth background information, as well as bringing the long-extinct dinos back to life with moving images. It’s a whole lot of fun. Please check our website or go directly to your respective app store and enter “Prehistoric” or “Austrian Mint”.

To visit the website of the Austrian Mint please click here.

You can read about the fourth coin in the Prehistoric Life series here.

And to learn more about the woolly mammoth and the period it lived you may visit the website of BBC

… or the website of the Page Museum of La Brea Tar Pits in LA.

← back

Subscribe to our newsletter now

Get the latest news from the world of numismatics promptly delivered once a week by email.