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Caribbean Monk Seal

Katie Kaplan

The Caribbean Monk Seal was one of three species of monk seal. Small, fur-bearing seals, they were rapidly annihilated through over-hunting for food and blubber oil. Compounding their direct targeting as a resource, rampant over-fishing denuded the reefs which sustained their food source. Declared extinct in 2008, Caribbean Monk Seals had probably been extirpated decades earlier, and their cousins the Hawaiian and Mediterranian Monk Seals are currently red-listed as Critically Endangered.

“My intention with this design was to portray the long-extinct Caribbean Monk Seal as a Saint: Flanked by twisting palms, it’s body emblazoned with a harpoon, the Seal rises up from the water to shed a tear for the past, and to act as a warning for the future of biodiversity in our oceans.”  – Katie Kaplan

One in a series of nine, this original elongated penny was designed by Katie Kaplan, and made on a machine created by Stuart O. Anderson and Justseeds member Shaun Slifer. While currently producing small runs of single-sided penny editions, the completed machine will produce double-sided pennies matching extinct and critically endangered animals with urban wildlife. Read more about the project…


Please note: while these pennies were all cleaned prior to rolling, each will bear individual variations as a result of their former existence as circulated currency, showing various patinas and markings per penny. 

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