Skull No1 seems to be the coin that has most people interested. For good reason. Coin Invest Trust launched their new silver minting process called SmartMinting at the World Money Fair in Berlin. As with all taglines, the cynic in me immediately thought it was all about marketing, but sitting in a room with these guys and seeing what was possible quickly proved that wrong. It’s all about relief.

Have the same amount of relief in a much thinner coin. Witness the extraordinary 100mm diameter Queens 90th release that apes a one-kilo (1,000g) coin, but weighs just three ounces (93.3g). Or have the same diameter, but much higher relief, like the beautiful two ounce Tea Race coin that literally bursts out of the background in inflated, detailed splendour. A recent development called BGM (Big Gold Minting) aims to take the former scenario and apply it to gold. The implications are phenomenal. A ¼oz coin with the same diameter as a 1oz coin, yet losing no detail. With gold heading upwards again, and being expensive anyway, we could be looking at an explosion in the popularity of sub ¼oz gold coins.

Anyway, back to silver and a new and unusual coin that pins its future entirely on relief. You can see the pictures here. Despite the size and the depth, that weighs just one troy ounce. It’s a fantastic demonstration of just what can be done with the new process. To make things clear, Skull No1 is entirely struck like a regular coin, not cast. The detail, the sheer correctness of the finished article is of the highest level and bodes very well for the future.

As a coin there will no doubt be some saying ‘it isn’t a coin because it isn’t round’. This notion that coins should be circular is nonsense and has no bearing in numismatic history, all kinds of shapes and objects being used for currency. This is a demonstration of the numismatic art and should be seen as such. If the coin is successful, we’ll see more of them. I’d personally like to see them work back through the anthropological timeline, skulls from the Neanderthal, Homo Erectus, and Australopithecus for example.

The coin comes in a themed tin with a Certificate of Authenticity. We’ve put the mintage down as 2750, but we’ve seen conflicting information in another document saying 1750, so we’ll get that clarified. UPDATE: It is 1750. A cool little minigold coin is also available and adds to a long-running and wide-ranging set of them from CIT, who have long been advocates of the format. Both should be up for pre-order shortly with a shipping date to be announced. We’d reckon on 4-8 weeks but will confirm shortly. I love it, some won’t. We’d love to read comments.

REVERSE FACE OF SILVER & MINIGOLD

MINTS DESCRIPTION

It doesn’t have to be cute and cuddly every time and these CIT issues are far from it. Skull No 1, made of one ounce of fine  silver, not only has a unique shape. Its smartminting© relief is also outstanding in the truest sense of the word and  accentuated with an antiquefinish. The collector’s coin is rounded off with an eerily beautiful packaging.

The Golden Skull features an equally mesmerising design, albeit in the small, well-known 11 mm, 0.5 g format.

SILVER BOX & BOTH OBVERSES

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 PALAU 0.999 SILVER 31.1 g 38.61 mm PROOF  1,750 YES / YES

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COIN INVEST TRUST