The first coin in our Prehistoric Life: Back from the Dead series, Triassic illustrates the geologic period when all the Earth’s continents were joined together in one vast landmass known as Pangaea. The supercontinent was surrounded by a vast ocean called Panthalassa in whose waters the prehistoric flora and fauna that feature on both sides of this marvellous coin once lived.
The Triassic spanned from 251 to 200 million years BC. This timeline, a detail linking the whole series, appears on the lower half of the coin’s obverse beneath an ammonite, an extinct sea-dwelling cephalopod shown in both live and fossilised form, the latter inspired by a fossil on display in the Natural History Museum Vienna. The upper half of the coin’s reverse shows an Ichthyosaurus with an ammonite in its long, narrow jaws, while a Nothosaurus swims below. Both animals roamed the seas during the middle and upper Triassic period in what would today be the Mediterranean Sea. The coin’s palpable underwater ambience is beautifully achieved with the help of aquatic flora that appear to move beneath the ripples of the surface.
Struck in Proof quality only to a maximum mintage of 50,000. (text: Austrian Mint)