CIT’s extraordinary Skull No1 silver coin gets an appealing Giant Panda alternative.

Coming from nowhere at this years ANA show in California, Coin Invest Trust launched an impressive new concept in coins that showcased their new silver minting technique called SmartMinting. Called Skull No.1, it was as the name suggests, a human skull in full relief, in the shape of a skull, not just struck into a round disc. It was exceptionally well done, but skulls aren’t for everyone, so CIT are now broadening the appeal of the subject-shaped ultra-high relief numismatic with this latest launch.

Called Silver Lucky Panda, it depicts, or more accurately actually is, a Giant Panda with a cub. The Panda is well represented in numismatics and a very popular symbol of nature, so it’s an intelligent choice of subject for this one. We feel again, that the design is first class with huge visual appeal. The level of relief and the detail upon it looks to be of the highest order. At 88 grams (around 2.8 ounces) of fine silver, the coin is of an unusual weight, indicating that the design wasn’t compromised by being made to be a specific size.

The obverse is plain, with a coin-shaped area carrying the usual inscriptions and Queens effigy, expected for a Cook Islands issue. Packaging looks good, a gloss black box in a white shipper which will hold a Certificate of Authenticity. Early indications are that dealers will be pricing this around the €250 mark, which for the design, weight and small (888) mintage seems eminently reasonable. A hugely successful coin in our view and the perfect antidote to those that found the skull coin a little hardcore.

Along with the big silver, CIT have added a perennial favourite of theirs, the minigold. Because of the dearth of metal to work with in these little 0.9999 gold, 0.5g coins, no attempt has been made to match the ambitious look of the silver. Instead, the finished article is very similar to the whole minigold family of shaped coins that CIT have been producing for some time now. These don’t usually come boxed and that’s likely the case again. Price for this one should be under €60.00.

2017 SILVER LUCKY PANDA COIN

MINT DESCRIPTION

The charismatic Giant Panda is one of the world’s most popular animals. Large males weigh up to 160 kg but unlike other members of the bear family, giant pandas thrive on a mostly vegetarian diet consisting of up to 99% bamboo shoots. The species is endemic to China and its natural montane bamboo forest habitat is highly fragmented due to deforestation and farming practices, leaving the bears reliant on conservation measures for their survival. The Lucky Panda silver coin is struck in incredible smartminting© high relief depicting a baby panda playing with its mother. The 88 gram fine silver coin is limited to 888 pieces.

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SILVER COIN BOX AND THE MINIGOLD COIN

SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$20 COOK ISLANDS 0.999 SILVER 88.0 g 65.0 mm B/UNC 888 YES / YES
$1 PALAU 0.9999 GOLD 0.5 g 11.0 mm B/UNC TBC (15,000?) NO / YES

MINT LINK

COIN INVEST TRUST