Back in 2007, the Liechtenstein-based coin producer Coin Invest Trust, issued a hit coin for the National Bank of Mongolia. The debut coin in a new series called Wildlife Protection, it went on to win the prestigious Coin of the Year award in 2010. That series went from strength to strength and every issue has been widely applauded for its quality and most importantly, its design. To date the series is still going and the latest release continues to maintain the high standards CIT have set for themselves with it. Those coins are struck in an ounce of antique-finished fine silver in a high relief style. Devoid of most of the unnecessary inscriptions that can plague the reverse sides of many modern commemoratives, the designs fill the coin and are truly one of the very few out there that take the coin shape as a fundamentally integrated part of the design rather than just being a canvas into which art is squeezed. Even the Swarovski crystals are expertly blended in without jarring, as is so often the case.
The only downside to the Wildlife Protection series has been its own success, with early coins selling for many times the launch price. When early coins in a series become unaffordable, collectors realise they can’t obtain a full set so often don’t buy later ones. It’s a completist attitude which we understand, but does mean that you’ll miss out on some fine designs. Go get them if you like them in our opinion. I’d rather own five great designs from eight rather than none because I can’t afford them all, but each to his own as the saying goes.
Well now a new solution has appeared and in our view, with huge style. Our love of prehistoric nature coins is well known, but even if it isn’t of particular interest to you, we thnk this series will be. Called Evolution of Life, this coin takes a similar path to the Wildlife Protection coins as far as the size, high relief and antique-finish go, but eschew the crystals for some really appealing red-gold gilding. If future entrants in this series approach the quality of this one, we’re in for a treat. The ammonite is intricate in detail, accurately realised and set in a natural looking matrix. The contrast between fossil and background is perfect, the red gold (copper-rich like a Krugerrand), is an inspired choice.
We’ve yet to see a price and we’re hoping dealers don’t go too mad and pile on appreciation too early, but we’ll be in line for one of these and eagerly await the 2016 entrant. First class.