PREHISTORIC LIFE: ARCHAEOPTERYX 2021 Congo 1oz .999 BU silver coin
The fifth issue of the series “Prehistoric Life“ from the Congo heads upwards into the air with the famous proto-bird, Archaeopteryx.
Named after the Greek for ‘Ancient Feather’, Archaeopteryx was for a long time considered a missing link between birds and dinosaurs and one of the first discovered feathered reptiles that could be classified as a bird.
Others have been found since, but the quality of the fossils discovered in Germany have been quite amazing, so it remains hugely important. Growing to about 0.5 m in length and with broad wings, they probably spent more time gliding than flying like a modern bird.
Indeed, they had much more in common with reptiles of the time, like sharp teeth, a bony tail, and hyperextensible second toes. Just twelve skeletons of the animal have ever been discovered, the last announced in 2014 and they do differ in age and detail. The first specimen, from 1861 and now held by the Natural History Museum in London, is considered the holotype.
Darwin had written his seminal work, On the Origin of Species, just two years before, and Archaeopteryx was an important example that helped cement his theories on evolution.
Depicted perched on a branch and surveying his territory perhaps, it’s a great way to show of this remarkable creature in all its glory. Like the previous entrants in this series, there’s a title and timeline border that frames the art on both silver coins.
Limited to just 10,000 pieces, this proof-like bullion coin comes with a capsule.