The scimitar cat is the second honoree in the Royal Canadian Mint’s Prehistoric Animals series.
A master at pursuing its prey, the scimitar cat (Homotherium serum) is arguably one of the most awe-inspiring animals of the Ice Age.
Now, the animal is featured on a Proof .9999 fine gold $5 coin and a Proof .9999 fine silver $20 coin.
Both coins were released June 2.
Each coin’s reverse design, by Julius Csotonyi, is paired with the obverse effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt .
To ensure scientific accuracy, the cat designs were verified by paleontologists of the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta.
The reverse of the gold coin shows a snarling scimitar cat, its mouth open wide to bare its lethal teeth, including the long pair of scimitars. The cat’s fur, piercing eyes, razor-sharp teeth and roughly textured tongue are all rendered in detail.
The reverse of the silver coin shows a scimitar cat exploding from ambush in pursuit of its prey, its mouth agape, fangs ready for a lethal strike. The background depicts a prehistoric grassland of the sort where this predator lived.
The gold coin weighs 3.14 grams, measures 16 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 3,000 pieces.
The silver coin weighs 31.39 grams, measures 38 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 7,500 pieces.