CIT push smartminting further than ever with an extraordinary new Erfoud meteorite coin

Fourteen issues in and CIT’s long-running meteorite coin series still continues to impress in a big way. We can’t imagine that this European producer thought the idea of affixing a genuine meteorite fragment to a coin woiuld have been so successful, spawning many imitators as it has, but here we are almost a decade and a half later, still enjoying new releases. Progress hasn’t stood still however, and they continue to push what’s possible with the genre.

First thing to remember as we look at this coin, is that it’s formed from just half an ounce of silver. A full 38.6 mm in diameter and with more twists and turns than a twisty-turny thing, it’s still just 15.5 grams of silver – quite incredible. Two years ago, CIT issued a Tamdakht meteorite coin that for the first time, used an impacted strike to simulate the puncturing of the coin face by the meteorite fragment. A year later, the Chergach meteorite was used to enhance the effect by making the crater deeper, but keeping the same formula. This years issue is out of the ballpark in comparison.

Looking almost like a spacial anomaly instead of an impact crater, the shape of this coin must have given BH Mayer plenty of headaches during die development. Different to a classic dimensional coin in that this one is essentially a standard blank taken to the extreme, you’ve got to be in awe of what has been achieved here. The continued use of an impact ‘tear’ at the base of the crater is a cool touch. There have been compromises. The level of relief on the surface of the coin is lower than before, for obvious reasons, but it’s still packed with detail that enhances the impression of a catastrophic impact and the resulting shockwave.

The obverse has a similar level of detail and incorporates the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II (it’s a Cook Islands issue) in a way that doesn’t detract from the finished article. Inscriptions detailing the issue are confined to a border area, with just the coin subject appearing on the reverse face in a similar location. Both sides are copper plated and have some light colour application to enhance details. The meteorite fragment s placed in the most logical location – at the bottom of the impact crater on the reverse face.

The coin is presented in a themed tin and will included a certificate of authenticity. The mintage of 2,500 and relatively light weight mean that prices should remain around the €100 mark. A great example of just how smartminting can push past a traditional strike, and a fine example of just how far minting technology has come over the last decade. Shipping in November, it should be available to preorder now and is available from quite a few of our sponsors, so please give them a crack first.

NORTHWEST AFRICA 6827

Purchased from a local meteorite dealer in Erfoud, Morocco back in 2008, NWA6827 was a group of 25 fragments of a meteorite that had no known witness to its fall. Classified as unshocked and lightly weathered, this carbonaceous chondrite (CO3) had a total combined weight of 1.289 kg.

The fragments lacked any fusion crust and had a dark-brownish interior composed of plentiful small chondrules. Chondrules are round grains of minerals that formed from molten droplets that then went on the accrete into larger bodies like asteroids. They are some of the oldest solid materials in the entire universe and because of their nature as base building blocks of planetary bodies, the study of them is considered hugely important. They can range in size from a few micrometres, up to approximately one centimetre in diameter.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $2 Cook Islands
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 15.55 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.61 mm
FINISH Silk
MODIFICATIONS High-relief, meteorite fragment, impacted strike
MINTAGE 2,500
BOX / COA Yes / Yes
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