The Royal Mint, the Original Maker of UK coins, in collaboration with the Natural History Museum has today launched a new commemorative coin collection celebrating fossil hunter and pioneering palaeontologist Mary Anning.
This is the second coin collection in The Royal Mint’s ‘Tales of the Earth’ series celebrating the awe-inspiring ancient creatures discovered here in Britain. The next coin collection shines a light on one of Britain’s greatest fossil hunters – Mary Anning. The first release in the Mary Anning Collection features Temnodontosaurus, one of the largest types of ichthyosaur and an apex predator that once roamed the ocean that covered much of southern Britain. Other coins in the collection will Anning’s discoveries of Plesiosaurus and Dimorphodon.
Renowned British paleo-artist and designer of the first Tales of the Earth commemorative coin collection, Robert Nicholls, has brought all three of Mary Anning’s discoveries back to life. Based on current understanding and the expert guidance of Sandra Chapman of the Earth Sciences Department at the Natural History Museum, each of the coin design’s created by Robert are a scientifically accurate reconstruction of the creatures and the environment that they existed in. By using the latest colour printing techniques, the intricate characteristics of each of the prehistoric marine reptiles have been captured to illustrate accurately how these creatures looked like on Earth millions of years ago, making them appear dynamic and adding a new level of visual fidelity to the coins.
Clare Maclennan, Divisional Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said, “It is an absolute pleasure to continue the popular Tales of the Earth commemorative 50p coin series in conjunction with the Natural History Museum. The next collection in the series celebrates fossil hunter and pioneering palaeontologist Mary Anning, with three coin’s featuring Anning’s astonishing discoveries of Temnodontosaurus, Plesiosaurus and Dimorphodon.
In addition to each of the coin designs being a scientifically accurate reconstruction of the creatures and the environment they lived in, we have combined augmented reality technology with the coins to bring the animals to life through animation and allow people to explore the details of the prehistoric marine reptiles from the comfort of their home.”
Clare Matterson, Executive Director of Engagement at the Natural History Museum said: “We are thrilled to continue working with The Royal Mint on the Tales of the Earth series. The Mary Anning Collection celebrates a pivotal figure in the understanding of palaeontology, important contributions to science that were rarely acknowledged in Mary’s lifetime. It is fantastic to see Mary celebrated in such a special way in 2021.”
Mary Anning was born in Lyme Regis, Dorset, in 1799 and spent her entire life in this small seaside town on England’s south coast. Anning’s father Richard had a large family to support and, in order to supplement his modest income as a carpenter, he set up a curiosity table outside their home selling fossils to tourists. It was at this point that she developed an interest in helping her father and amongst the curiosities they discovered were ‘snake stones’ (ammonites), ‘devil fingers’ (belemites) and ‘verteberries’ (vertebrae). Aged only 12 or 13, Anning made her first discovery, an articulated skeleton of an ichthyosaur, a type of marine reptile that once roamed Jurassic seas. From this point forward Anning made a number of astonishing discoveries making her the greatest fossil hunter of the Victorian era.
Designed in conjunction with experts at the Natural History Museum, the augmented reality brings the mighty beasts to life from the comfort of home. To access the augmented reality feature, customers will need to visit The Royal Mint website to unearth exclusive content.
The first coin in the series features Temnodontosaurus and is available in gold and colour and non-colour silver proof editions, as well as a brilliant uncirculated finish and a special colour printed brilliant uncirculated edition, exclusively available from The Royal Mint. Visit www.royalmint.com/MaryAnning to view the full commemorative coin range.
|Coin title||The Mary Anning Collection – Temnodontosaurus 2021 UK 50p Brilliant Uncirculated Coin||The Mary Anning Collection – Temnodontosaurus 2021 UK 50p Brilliant Uncirculated Colour Coin||The Mary Anning Collection – Temnodontosaurus 2021 UK 50p Silver Proof Coin||The Mary Anning Collection – Temnodontosaurus 2021 UK 50p Silver Proof Colour Coin||The Mary Anning Collection – Temnodontosaurus 2021 UK 50p Gold Proof Coin|
|Alloy||Cupro-Nickel||Cupro-Nickel||925 Ag||925 Ag||916.7 Au|
|Obverse Designer||Jody Clark|
|Reverse Designer||Robert Nicholls|
|Quality||Brilliant Uncirculated||Brilliant Uncirculated||Proof||Proof||Proof|
|Limited Edition Presentation||Unlimited||50,000||3,000||7,000||250|