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McMurdo 10 dollar coin

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10 dollars
McMurdo 1987
Silver coin
General information
Country

Flag of Antarctica Antarctica
McMurdo Station

Value

"$10.00" (written)

Years
Measurements and composition
Mass
Diameter
  • 25.5 mm (originals)
  • 25 mm (restrikes)
Composition
  • cupronickel (restrike)
  • nickel-silver (restrike)
  • niobium (restrike)
  • pewter
  • silver
  • tantalum
  • titanium (restrike)
Appearance
Shape

round

Alignment

medallic

Edge

plain (sometimes with incuse lettering)

Obverse

Wind, mountain peaks, dates

Reverse

"Ice Crown", "value"

v · d · e

The 10 dollar coin is a fantasy coin of the McMurdo Station on Ross Island that was issued in 1987 and around 2005 by American artist Fred Zinkann. It was made in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year, an international scientific project that occurred from July 1, 1957 to December 31, 1958. Zinkann has sold some examples online using eBay. Being a fantasy, the piece is not considered legal tender anywhere, and was intended primarily for collectors of exonumia and coin-like objects.

Original 1987 pieces exist in three metals – pewter, silver, and tantalum – while restrikes have reportedly been made using cupronickel, nickel-silver, niobium, and titanium. Originals measure about 25.5 millimeters in diameter while restrikes are slightly smaller, measuring 25 millimeters. Pewter examples have a mass of about 5 grams, normal silver pieces weigh 8.5 grams, and tantalum coins are about 10 grams. In addition, silver piedforts exist weighing 16 grams and 31 grams. The masses of the cupronickel, nickel-silver, and niobium restrikes are respectively 4.5 grams, 5.7 grams, 3.5 grams. All examples have medallic alignment and are round in shape. Most bear a plain edge, although the silver pieces often also have incuse lettering. Displayed at the top center of the obverse are stylized gusts of wind, underneath which at the left are three mountain peaks representing the Antarctic landscape. Printed below portions of these mountains is the word "McMURDO". At the very bottom of the coin is "1957 · IGY · 1987", the first date signifying the year of the International Geophysical Year, which is represented by the "IGY", and the second identifying the year of production. Seeing as the date of the coin is featured in a design element, the piece is technically non-dated. Engraved above the dates is a horizontal line that separates them from the remaining elements of the obverse. Featured in the center of the reverse is what is described as an "Ice Crown", which consists of geometrical patterns with a snowflake in the middle, also geometrically-designed. The text "ANTARCTICA $10" is written below the crown, and underneath that are the "FRZ" initials of the artist. Inscribed along the periphery of the coin is the English "WHERE ALL DOMINIONS AND DIRECTIONS MEET THROUGH WIND AND ICE UMBRAGE", commencing in a clockwise direction at the bottom of the piece and wrapping entirely around the reverse, with a small point separated the beginning of the text from the end. The rims of both sides of the coin are raised.

In total, only about 25 pewter, 50 normal silver, 18 tantalum, and 10 piedfort silver (5 for each type) coins were produced in 1987, all in proof quality. Approximately 25 cupronickel, 19 niobium, and 20 titanium examples were coined; the number of nickel-silver specimens is uncertain.

ReferencesEdit

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