It’s quite surprising that there are so few classic trains on modern numismatics. It’s been proven time and again that coins with nautical themes are well liked and we understand that there is a sizeable community of rail enthusiasts out there, so the reasons for the scarcity are a little mysterious. In many parts of the world, like India for example, trains are a massive part of the national psyche, so clearly there’s plenty of potential interest.
Coin Invest Trust and Egina are clearly hoping that’s the case with their first issue in a new series called Spirit of Trains. Plenty of subjects to choose from, of course, but even so, the choice of the record-setting steam locomotive The Mallard is an inspired one. A beautiful piece of transport technology, The Mallard, even after 80 years, still holds the official speed record for a steam train. Even better, it’s still around and on permanaent display in England, so continues to have relevance to those interested in the field.
No complaints on the coin design. Smartminting is in full evidence with an impessive amount of relief and detail. The image is very dynamic and CIT have tried very hard to instill a sense of fast motion by ‘blurring’ parts of the background, much like you would do in Photoshop or a comic book, for example. It works well, and in conjunction with the rich colour application, nakes the train really stand out from the background while remaining part of it.
The obverse is a standard effort – just the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by the usual inscriptions, but that’s quite typical of Cook Islands issues. We’ve seen no images of the packaging yet, but Egina are stating the coin will come in ‘a beautifully designed box labeled Spirit of Trains’ and with a certificate of authenticity. The coin serial number is engraved into the edge of the coin, denoting which of the 499 coins minted that you have.
A fine debut for the series, the coin will ship at the end of August and is available to pre-order right now from the worldwide distributor, Egina Coins. It’s good to see the subject back in coins and this looks like it could be an impressive premium series if this standard is maintained.