Between 145 million and 65 million years ago, during the period known to science as the Cretaceous, the evolving continent of Australia provided an ideal environment for dinosaurs.
Evidence of their existence has been found in numerous areas, including Central-West Queensland, a hot-spot for the discovery of fossilised bones from dinosaurs alive at that time.
In 2006, the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum made one of the region’s most famous discoveries near the town of Winton. From the clay at the bottom of an ancient billabong, they uncovered the most complete skeleton of a meat-eating dinosaur yet found in Australia.
Brandishing razor-sharp teeth and three slashing claws on each hand, the creature was a ferocious predator. Approximately 5 metres in length, 1.5 metres high and weighing around 500 kilograms, it probably attacked much larger dinosaurs like the lumbering herbivorous sauropod whose skeleton was found in the same billabong!
The terrifying beast is known formally as Australovenator wintonensis (Winton’s Southern Hunter). But to the locals it’s Banjo, a nickname honouring the fact that Banjo Paterson first performed Australia’s unofficial anthem, Waltzing Matilda, in Winton.
With such an unequivocal Australian pedigree, Banjo is depicted on the first release from our new Australian Age of Dinosaurs silver proof coin series. Struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver, the Australian legal tender coin includes a coloured portrayal of the pre-historic landscape through which he rampaged.
Coin collectors who wish to embark on a 100 million year journey back to the Cretaceous Period with this stunning coin program can look forward to the release of four more coins in coming months with designs featuring Diamantinasaurus, Leaellynasaura, Minmi and Muttaburrasaurus.
To buy the first release or learn more about a series subscription, click here.