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Kirsten Petersen


Kirsten Petersen

Kirsten has been part of the coin world for most of her professional career.  For more than 20 years now she has worked for the Austrian Mint helping to establish and build the Austrian Mint presence and successes in the international markets around the world.  Kirsten began her numismatic career with the Royal Canadian Mint where she distinguished herself by creating numismatic programs such as "Canada 125", the proof Maple Leaf issues and the original Aviation silver program.

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Archive for 'October 2014'

    “Back from the Dead, Dinosaurs”

    October 17, 2014 9:03 AM by
    Imagine in today’s world an animal that is taller than a 3 story building.  Not just one of these, but several of these, such as the Brachiosaurus wandering about outside your window.  Or how about a flying reptile, the Pterosaur with a wingspan of over 30 feet?  Of course, the T-Rex is nothing to snub your nose at, it could eat some 500 pounds of meat a day.  My goodness the world would be so much different if instead of the lovely verdant hills and gently flowing streams of our world, we’d have an environment that was hot and steamy.  And, we’d still be connected with Asia!  The world of dinosuars is so long ago, but it’s easy to imagine how minuscule we would be standing in a swampy land with palm trees and trying to keep out of the T-rex’s jaws.  We’d be tender wee morsels for dinner.

    The “Back from the Dead” silver coin series from Austria allows one to readily imagine such a world.  Through this series I’ve learned that there were regional differences in dinosaurs around the world.  The little country of Austria has one dinosaur named in its honor, the “Struthiosaurus austriacus”.  Several fossils of this dinosaur have been found in Austria. The name seems appropriate since the dinosaur is relatively small as dino’s go – only about 5 feet – and it was found within Austria.  This almost delicate dinosaur that had a hard shell-like coat or armor to protect itself is found on the Cretaceous period coin.  

    These silver coins are real treats with so much design detail.  My blog is called “Metalmatics” and it sounds a bit like metal-magic and I think this series really has achieved new heights of design magic.  Of course, the free App that is available makes this whole series just come alive.  Go ahead and try it.  I think you’ll get a kick out of trying to catch the silver coin before the roaming dinosaurs do, just click on

    I also imagine a world where life began in the sea like the ichthyosaurus and nothosauras found on the first coin, the Triassic coin.  How about going for a dip with one of these?  I can imagine it because the mint engravers have so carefully detailed what is known about dinosaurs.  As with most Austrian coins, you get 2 designs for the price of one.  One side of the dino coin has a painstakingly engraved fossil as well as a representation of what it is believed it looked like, in real-life.  The reverse of the coin is like the action shot that brings all the pieces together such as the featured dinosaur in its habitat, allowing us to get fully absorbed in this prehistoric world. 

    The other cool thing on the obverse is the time line that begins with the first coin and will bring these ancient times forward to the fifth and final coin of the series.  The timeline begins over 250 million years ago, the Triassic period.  The most recent coin, the Tertiary coin is only 2.5 million years ago, almost within our “recent” memory.

    One of the highlights during this journey through time was the Jurassic coin, just like the movie of the same name.  By then the world had already evolved to more resemble our world today with huge rivers and valleys being formed and the smaller Rhamphorhynchus could be seen flying the skies.  Life had evolved from of the sea and was now chalking up frequent flyer miles in the air.