CIT Summer ’23: The Vexed Man, Charon the Ferryman, and the Grand Canyon showcase CIT’s imagination

After a quick wander through many of this talented producer’s new coins from the Summer Launch, we’ve chosen three of them for a closer look. These aren’t necessarily our absolute favourites, but they are all excellent, and more importantly, original. A big variance in style and implementation is also in evidence, all traits we associate with this Liechtenstein-based coin producer.

The three we’ve chosen are a quite superb Grand Canyon coin, literally turning their previous mountain coins on their head, a terrific reproduction of a sculpted face, and a black proof finished view at the work of the ferryman, Charon. We’ll have a closer look at some of the other issues shortly when we’re back from our own Summer hiatus.


CIT has long had a history of producing some great designs based on the world’s highest mountain peaks, going right back to an early subscription coin series they did from 2009. While that series, called Mountains & Flora, wasn’t an ambitious one in design terms, it led to the superb Seven Summits range, which recently wrapped up, and that pushed the envelope quite a bit more.

Fast-forward to today, and that legacy lives on with the first topography release, the Grand Canyon. Quite an inspired idea to go down, rather than up, and on the evidence of this first issue, a very successful one. With a single coin, they’ve managed to showcase the spectacular nature of this canyon, with intricate detail, even down to map lines on the surrounding flat, proof-finished foreground field. This is also one of the few coins in CIT’s line-up to have an effigy of King Charles II on the obverse, something we expect to see more of.

It’s a five ounce coin, and at 50 mm in diameter, it’s clear much of that has gone on thickness – quite understandable. A terrific idea, expertly brought to numismatic life. We’re already looking forward to what comes next – perhaps the African Rift Valley, or the Marianas Trench.

$25 CID (Cook Islands) 155.5 g of 0.999 silver 50 mm Proof, colour, Smartminting, high-relief 777


“The Vexed Man” is a striking sculpture created by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt in the late 18th century. This intricate work captures the depths of human emotion, depicting a contorted face that conveys a mix of anguish, frustration, and introspection. Messerschmidt’s keen observation of human expressions and his remarkable skill in sculpting allowed him to immortalize the complexity of inner turmoil. “The Vexed Man” was one of a whole range of character studies in bronze and stone, which Messerschmidt worked on until his death, aged just 47.

The coin is a straight-up reproduction of the Vexed Man from the front, struck with an impressive level of high-relief. We’ve said this many times before, but nobody does faces on coins like CIT, and this is an outstanding example, as well as being a genuinely intriguing subject. The obverse is deadly dull in comparison, but this one is clearly about that impressive reverse face.

$10 CID (Cook Islands) 62.2 g of 0.9999 silver 38.61 mm Proof, Smartminting, high-relief 999


In Greek mythology, Charon is the enigmatic ferryman of the Underworld, an essential figure in guiding souls across the river Styx to the realm of the dead. Portrayed as a grim and solitary figure, Charon’s role is both pragmatic and symbolic—he collects a fee for his service, usually an obolus placed in the mouths of the deceased, ensuring their safe passage to the afterlife. His hunched appearance and silent demeanour emphasize his connection to the solemnity of death. Charon embodies the transition from life to the unknown, a guardian of the boundary between the mortal realm and the mysteries beyond.

Depicting Charon on his boat, a lantern on the bow, and coins on a bench, he traverses the river Acheron, the hands of lost souls outstretched from its depths. Pretty much every element of this mythical character’s story has been incorporated into the coin design, and brought to life (death?) in high-relief. The Black Proof finish is appropriate, if a little overwhelming, but an intriguing concept, and one worth watching.

$20 (Palau) 93.3 g of 0.9999 silver 50.0 mm Black proof, Smartminting, high-relief 666