CIT Autumn Launch Day: The Armillary Sphere, the Dragonfly, and the Eiffel Tower demonstrate CIT’s technical and artistic ability in modern numismatics

We’ve taken to picking out three noteworthy coins from CIT’s quarterly seasonal releases to look at one launch day, and that’s the case again for the last of the 2023 events – Autumn. As is always the case, there’s a mix of additions to existing series, new variants of previous issues, and a smattering of all new debut series.

We have two additions here, to a pair of the producer’s most impressive series, both delving into our historical achievements, and fully employing CIT’s proven smartminting. The last is a little more traditional, but beautifully done delve into one of our more humble habitats, the lily pond. We’ll cover some more of this Autumn collection at a later date.


Only the second release in the Historic Instruments series, and following last year’s Astrolabe, this Armillary Sphere coin is proof positive that this is a series to watch like a hawk. The theme is fascinating enough, as there’s much in the history of scientific instrumentation to evoke wonder, dating back to ancient times, but the implementation is first class.

This time, the Armillary Sphere, also called the Spherical Astrolabe, raises the relief even higher, with crisp definition and an engaging depth of field. The original device, possibly dating back as far as the 3rd century BCE, has two forms. The earlier Ptolemaic has Earth at its centre, while the Copernican features the Sun. We’d imagine this is the latter, given the crafting and measurements on it.

The obverse has moved from Queen Elizabeth II, to King Charles III, but otherwise remains the same as the Astrolabe issue. This is a very impressive coin, successfully managing to take something fundamentally spherical in shape, and depict it on a coin, while losing little. Excellent.

$10 CID (Cook Islands) 62.2 g of 0.999 silver 45.0 mm Proof, colour, Smartminting, high-relief 1,500


This coin struck us, not just for its very attractive design, and interesting subject, but for the exceptional application of colour. There’s an almost ethereal, metallic aspect to it that lifts it well above much of the competition. Relief is handled expertly, with the critter, the petals, and the water droplets, being raised above the lily pad background. The water drops, in particular, are a fine touch.

Often missed, but especially noteworthy in this case, is the highly polished coin edge, and raised rim. It just seems to suit the subject so well. The obverse has what looks to be a child’s sketch of a lily pond. Unusual, and a neat addition. As a one-ounce coin, this is one of the more affordable offerings in this launch, and we love that, of course.

While there’s nothing to suggest this is the first in a new series, we suspect it will be popular, and spawn one. The number of other subjects, from beetles and spiders, to frogs and lizards, leaves plenty of potential for further releases, and we hope that is indeed the case.

$5 (Palau) 31.1 g of 0.9999 silver 38.61 mm Proof, Smartminting, high-relief 1,500


This is the third in what has grown into an impressive series of architectural tributes. Launched in 2022 with a pretty Leaning Tower of Pisa, the iconic Chinese Temple of Heaven in Beijing followed, and now we have the equally iconic, Eiffel Tower in Paris. The premise of this range is quite simple, but very effective, nevertheless.

Employing smartminted high-relief, it features raised reproductions on both faces of the coin, and the bottom of the coin is squared off, to allow it to stand easily on its own. The impression is enhanced, with even the sides of the high points carrying detail. The background of the reverse face depicts a street plan of Paris, and the obverse has a close up of the steel frame at its lower levels. It’s the best representation of the French icon we’ve seen in the numismatic world to date.

There are two versions at present, both looking pretty much identical, one at two-ounces, and the other at five. The Pisa coin also managed a one-ounce gold version, but as Temple of Heaven hasn’t so far, it remains to be seen if there will be an Eiffel Tower equivalent.

$25 (Cook Islands) 155.5 g of 0.9999 silver 50.0 mm Antique, Smartminting, high-relief 889
$10 (Cook Islands) 62.2 g of 0.9999 silver 38.61 mm Antique, Smartminting, high-relief 1,889