The reverse design is based on fossils curated at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta, and has been reviewed for scientific accuracy by palaeontologists at the Museum. It features a near life-sized reproduction of Marrella splendens, a marine arthropod from the Middle Cambrian period (505 million years ago), whose curving spines and wedge-shaped head are among its most distinguishing features. A carefully sculpted rock texture fills the field and surrounds the precision-engraved fossils, resulting in a more true-to-life rendering of the Marrella specimen recovered from the Burgess Shale Formation. While the rimless coin's unique shape is the product of an old coin-making technique, the antiqued look of a patina finish adds to the design's "ancient" look and feel, which extends to the prehistoric-looking font on the reverse and obverse. On the right of the reverse, the inscription: "Marrella" – the name of the coin. On the left, the inscription: "CANADA" – the issuing country. The obverse of the coin depicts the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the inscriptions: "2018" – the year of issue, "D·G·REGINA" – Dei Gratia Regina, "20 DOLLARS" – the face value and "ELIZABETH II" – the name of the Queen.
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