The Austrian Mint will soon release the third coin within the series “Prehistoric Life: Back from the Dead.” The latest coin will depict life on the ground during the Cretaceous period, which spanned from 145 million to 66 million years BC.
The obverse design of the coin carries a depiction of the Struthiosaurus, a small predator protected by body armor which lived during the late Cretaceous period. Included within the lower portion of the image are the remains of one of these dinosaurs which were discovered in a coal mine south of Vienna in 1855 by geologist Eduard Suess and palaeontologist Ferdinand Stoliczka. Along the base of the design is a timeline with the date range of the Creatceous period indicated.
The reverse design features a dramatic scene of the herbivorous Zalmoxes defending its eggs from a hungry Struthiosaurus within a typical landscape scene from the era. One of the eggs is hatching as the scene unfolds.
Each coin is struck in 90% silver to proof quality with a weight of 20 grams and diameter of 34 mm. There is a maximum mintage of 50,000 pieces. The product page on the Austrian Mint website indicates a release date of March 19, 2014.
The previous two issues of the series have featured life in the water during the Triassic period and life in the air during the Jurassic period. The fourth coin within the five coin series will feature life on the ground during the Tertiary period and is scheduled for release later this year on October 9.