Natural Perspectives: Gecko

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January 24, 2019 – After Sea Turtle and Silver Lucky Panda in 2017, and Emperor Penguin in 2018, CIT Coin Invest AG is now issuing the fourth coin in its “Natural Perspectives” series: a numismatic mini-sculpture in the shape of a gecko. If you know anything about minting techniques, you will be impressed by the masterful perfection, presenting even the finest details in high relief.

Palau / 5 dollars / silver .999 / 1 oz / Mintage: 999.

This is especially apparent on the typical five-toed feet, which are also the real-life gecko’s special feature. The structure of the toes’ underside allows the animal to adhere to every surface. This is achieved by the microscopic hairs called spatulae, which, to the naked eye, look like lamellae. A gecko has about one billion of these hairs on each foot. The spatulae’s angle towards the surface is crucial for the adhesion of the gecko’s foot. Nowadays, this effect is imitated in nanotechnologies and made economically exploitable. 

Just as with the living gecko, the toes of the “numismatic” gecko are something special, making this blank the most complex shape that has ever been designed as a coin. What’s more, it is made using smartminting high relief technology. The gecko shows the possibilities in modern coin minting: Shapes can be minted which before, at most, could only be cast. 

The lifelike design, the elaborate details and the witty case (in which the gecko is clinging to the lid just like in real life) make the fourth coin of the “Natural Perspectives” series a true highlight of this very popular series.

The photo reduces the coin to two dimensions, but this video gives a better impression.

Further information about this coin is available on the CIT Coin Invest AG website.

This BioExpedition article tells you everything you need to know about geckos.