CREATURES discovered on Dorset's Jurassic Coast by famed fossil hunter Mary Anning have been brought back to life in a unique new 50p coin collection.

And ahead of Anning's birthday, The Royal Mint brought the coins to west Dorset where a number of her awe-inspiring discoveries were made.

The coin collection, featuring marine reptiles Temnodontosaurus, Plesiosaurus and Dimorphodon, have been produced in collaboration with the Natural History Museum to celebrate the pioneering palaeontologist.

It is the second coin collection in The Royal Mint’s ‘Tales of the Earth’ series celebrating the creatures discovered in Britain.

Renowned British paleo-artist Robert Nicholls has brought all three of Mary Anning’s discoveries back to life.

Based on current understanding and the expert guidance of Sandra Chapman of the Earth Sciences Department at the Natural History Museum, each of the coin design’s created by Mr Nicholls are a scientifically accurate reconstruction of the creatures and the environment that they existed in. By using the latest colour printing techniques, the intricate characteristics of each of the prehistoric marine reptiles have been captured to illustrate accurately what these creatures looked like on Earth millions of years ago, making them appear dynamic and adding a new level of visual fidelity to the coins.

Clare Maclennan, Divisional Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said, “We are delighted to be able to celebrate what would have been Mary Anning’s birthday by taking the commemorative coins to the Jurassic Coast. Anning made a number of her discoveries on Jurassic Coast, with Temnodontosaurus, Plesiosaurus and Dimorphodon now featuring on their very own collectable 50p coins. We felt it was only right to celebrate one of Britain’s greatest fossil hunters by taking the coins to where these creatures were first discovered. We hope the nation will join us to celebrate the birthday of an incredible woman that made a number of spectacular discoveries.”

Max Lister, Head of Licensing at the Natural History Museum said: “It feels very apt to see these coins set against the backdrop of the Jurassic Coast, so close to where Mary made her ground-breaking discoveries – a very fitting way to celebrate Mary’s birthday.”

Anning was born in Lyme Regis on May 21, 1799 and spent her entire life there. Aged only 12 or 13, she made her first discovery, an articulated skeleton of an ichthyosaur, a type of marine reptile that once roamed Jurassic seas. From this point forward Anning made a number of astonishing discoveries making her the greatest fossil hunter of the Victorian era.

Visit The Royal Mint website to view the full commemorative coin range.