2014 Austria Silver €20 Life on the Ground Prf (Cretaceous)

2014 Austria Silver €20 Life on the Ground Prf (Cretaceous)

The third coin in the Austrian Mint series Prehistoric Life: Back from the Dead series, Cretaceous illustrates the geologic period when all the Earth’s continents were joined together in one vast landmass known as Pangaea.

Coin Highlights:

  • Contains .5209 oz of fine Silver.
  • Each coin comes in a capsule inside the mint box with a certificate of authenticity.
  • Obverse: Features the struthiosaurius austriacus defending its newborn emerging from an egg with the strong body armor.
  • Reverse: Depicts the struthiosaurius austriacus along with vegetation and samples of the animals fossils.
  • Guaranteed by the Austrian Mint.

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Spanning some 80 million years, the Cretaceous period ended 66 million years ago when an asteroid collided with Earth. The period’s high sea levels meant that large portions of the landmass were under water, but on dry land dinosaurs such as struthiosaurius austriacus thrived. Protected by body armor, this small yet fearsome creature is brought to life on the third coin in our fascinating Prehistoric Life: Back from the Dead series.

In 1194, Richard the Lionheart paid 12 tons of Silver to Duke Leopold V of Austria to secure his freedom from a year of incarceration. This act unintentionally laid the foundation for the Austrian Mint, as Duke Leopold had coins struck from Richard the Lionheart’s ransom. In doing so, Leopold set in motion more than 800 years of minting history in Vienna, though it would be another 200 years before the Vienna Mint was mentioned in historical documents.

The Vienna Mint was originally situated near Hoher Merkt and later at various locations in Vienna. Since the first half of the 19th century, the mint has been housed in Heumarkt in central Vienna, where coins are still struck to this day. Minting facilities opened throughout Austria until 1918 when the Republic of Austria was formed and the Vienna Principal Mint became the singular minting facility. In 1989, the name officially changed to the Austrian Mint and became a subsidiary of the Austrian National Bank.

One of the Austrian Mint’s most recognized coins is the Maria Teresa Thaler, which is not simply a famous Silver coin, but one that boasts the greatest number minted. Another prime example of the mint’s international success is the Gold Philharmonic, one of the most popular Gold bullion coins worldwide. The Gold Philharmonic has played a vital role in developing the Austrian Mint into a highly successful company. The Austrian Mint’s beautifully crafted coins are minted in the heart of Vienna and are sought after by investors and collectors around the world.

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