Coin Collection Celebrates the Contribution of Mary Anning

The Royal Mint in collaboration with the London Natural History Museum has launched a commemorative coin collection honouring the celebrated palaeontology pioneer Mary Anning.  From selling seashells on the seashore to a coin collection which includes a gold proof coin valued at over £1,100.00 ($1,540.00 USD) featuring an image of an ichthyosaur, the contribution to science of the most famous former resident of Lyme Regis in Dorset is being honoured in a very special way.

One of the Commemorative Coins Features an Ichthyosaur

A coin features an ichthyosaur (Temnodontosaurus).

One of the coins that commemorates Mary Anning features an illustration of an ichthyosaur (Temnodontosaurus).

Picture Credit: The Royal Mint

The “Tales of the Earth” Series

This is the second coin collection in The Royal Mint’s “Tales of the Earth” series, celebrating the remarkable fossil record of the British Isles. Whilst the original series featured the first dinosaurs to be named and described (Iguanodon, Megalosaurus and the armoured dinosaur Hylaeosaurus), there are no dinosaurs on these three coins, after all, dinosaur fossil remains from the “Jurassic Coast” are exceptionally rare.  The marine shales explored by the Anning family in Georgian times revealed the remains of huge sea monsters and occasionally pterosaurs, such as Dimorphodon which features on another of the coins that make up this set.

Honouring Mary Anning – The First Fossil Remains of Dimorphodon Were Found in 1828

Coin honours Mary Anning.

From the Royal Mint, a coin has been issued which honours the discovery of the first pterosaur fossil in England by Mary Anning.

Picture Credit: The Royal Mint

The renowned British palaeo-artist Bob Nicholls who designed the trio of dinosaurs that featured on the first set of “Tales of the Earth” commemorative coins, returns to bring back to life three prehistoric creatures that reflect the contribution to palaeontology made by Mary Anning.  The third coin features a beautiful illustration of a Plesiosaurus.

A Plesiosaurus Features on One of the Commemorative Fifty Pence Coins

Honouring Mary Anning (Plesiosaurus 1823).

Picture Credit: The Royal Mint

With the assistance of Sandra Chapman of the Earth Sciences Department at the Natural History Museum, each of the coin design’s created by Bob Nicholls are a scientifically accurate reconstruction of the creatures and their ancient Early Jurassic environment.  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.

Commemorative Coins to Celebrate the Contribution of Mary Anning

Coins minted to honour Mary Anning.

A trio of coins that have been minted to honour the contribution to science of Mary Anning.

Picture Credit: The Royal Mint

Commenting on the addition of this coin collection, the Divisional Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint, Clare Maclennan stated:

“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.”

The coins each with a face value of fifty pence are available in a number of formats at various price points permitting coin collectors and dinosaur fans the opportunity to acquire them.  For the record, the gold coin valued at over £1,000 is a limited edition piece, just 250 have been produced.

The Temnodontosaurus Coin in a Presentation Acrylic Block

Acrylic block containing one of the Mary Anning commemorative coins.

An acrylic block which features the 50p commemorative Temnodontosaurus image honouring Mary Anning.

Picture Credit: The Royal Mint

A Mysterious Coin Found at Lyme Regis

Back in 2015 Everything Dinosaur reported on the discovery of a mysterious metal token that was found by a metal detectorist at Lyme Regis.  It was speculated that this coin-like object could have been the property of Mary Anning.  We wonder what Mary would have made of the coin collection created by The Royal Mint commemorating her contribution.

Did This Metal Token Once Belong to Mary Anning?

The Mary Anning Disc

Stamped on the disc are the words “Mary Anning and the year 1810 marked in Roman numerals.

Picture Credit: Lyme Regis Museum with additional annotation by Everything Dinosaur

To read more about the Mary Anning disc: Mysterious Token Linked to Mary Anning.

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