Austrian Mint


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TRIASSIC Life In The Water Trias Prehistoric Life Silver Coin 20€ Euro Austria 2013


The first coin in our Prehistoric Life: Back from the Dead series, Triassic illustrates the geologic period when all the Earth’s continents were joined together in one vast landmass known as Pangaea. The supercontinent was surrounded by a vast ocean called Panthalassa in whose waters the prehistoric flora and fauna that feature on both sides of this marvellous coin once lived.

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The Triassic is a geologic period and system that extends from roughly 250 to 200 Mya (252.17 ± 0.06 to 201.3 ± 0.2 million years ago). It is the first period of the Mesozoic Era, and lies between the Permian and Jurassic periods. Both the start and end of the period are marked by major extinction events. The Triassic was named in 1834 by Friedrich von Alberti, after the three distinct rock layers (tri meaning "three") that are found throughout Germany and northwestern Europe—red beds, capped by marine limestone, followed by a series of terrestrial mud- and sandstones—called the "Trias."

The Triassic began in the wake of the Permian–Triassic extinction event, which left the Earth's biosphere impoverished; it would take well into the middle of the period for life to recover its former diversity. Therapsids and archosaurs were the chief terrestrial vertebrates during this time. A specialized subgroup of archosaurs, dinosaurs, first appeared in the Late Triassic but did not become dominant until the succeeding Jurassic.[6] The first true mammals, themselves a specialized subgroup of Therapsids also evolved during this period, as well as the first flying vertebrates, the pterosaurs, who like the dinosaurs were a specialized subgroup of archosaurs. The vast supercontinent of Pangaea existed until the mid-Triassic, after which it began to gradually rift into two separate landmasses, Laurasia to the north and Gondwana to the south. The global climate during the Triassic was mostly hot and dry, with deserts spanning much of Pangaea's interior. However, the climate shifted and became more humid as Pangaea began to drift apart. The end of the period was marked by yet another major mass extinction, the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event, wiping out many groups and allowing dinosaurs to assume dominance in the Jurassic.

  • CountryAustria
  • Year2013
  • Face Value20 Euro
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)900/1000
  • Weight (g)20
  • Diameter (mm)34
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)50.000
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)Yes

The Triassic spanned from 251 to 200 million years BC. This timeline, a detail linking the whole series, appears on the lower half of the coin’s obverse beneath an ammonite, an extinct sea-dwelling cephalopod shown in both live and fossilised form, the latter inspired by a fossil on display in the Natural History Museum Vienna. The upper half of the coin’s reverse shows an Ichthyosaurus with an ammonite in its long, narrow jaws, while a Nothosaurus swims below. Both animals roamed the seas during the middle and upper Triassic period in what would today be the Mediterranean Sea. The coin’s palpable underwater ambience is beautifully achieved with the help of aquatic flora that appear to move beneath the ripples of the surface.