Fishing lure by 19th century innovator Julio T. Buel is celebrated by CIT in gold and silver

Lake Bomoseen in Vermont is the birthplace of one of fishermen’s greatest friends, the spoon lure. Dropping a silver spoon into the lake while eating lunch back in 1834, Julio T. Buel noticed a large fish grab the spinning object and he had a bit of a eureka! moment. Sawing off the handle of another spoon, soldering on a hook, and making an eye for a line, he trotted off back to the lake and soon caught himself a big trout using his new lure. A business was born and Buel became a sport fishing legend that continues to this day, as Eppinger still makes ‘Buel Spinners’.

With their incredible knack for the unusual, CIT have decided to celebrate Buel’s achievement with a gold and silver homage to the invention. A half-ounce silver and a tenth-ounce gold are being produced, and each of these spoon-shaped reproductions is adorned with his portrait, and a hook hanging from the bottom. An interesting idea and quite unique.

Even the packaging is themed to match an old lure box with its quaint artwork. With fishing being such a hugely popular pastime these days, we can see this one attracting plenty of attention in that community. Just 1,000 of the gold and 2,000 of the silver will be struck. If anyone is wondering, yes, the hook is sharp!


From an 1893 published article in The Iron Age, a hardware trade book.

“The Original Spoon Bait to which we referred in a recent description of Buel’s new silver Spinner is shown in the accompanying cut. This was invented by Julio T. Buel in 1834 and was made of an old brass table spoon, which he polished on the convex side of the bowl, after which a hook was soldered upon the small end and a line attached to the broken handle. This idea was suggested to him while eating lunch on the lake one day.

He accidentally dropped a teaspoon overboard, and as it sank he noticed that it made peculiar twists and turns through the water, and that it was suddenly struck by a large fish before it reached the bottom. As the result of continued successes in making Baits, the manufacture of these goods was begun by him at Whitehall, N.Y., in 1848, where the business is still carried on by the J.T. Buel Company. An exhibit of these goods has been sent to the World’s Fair, the case containing the original Spoon Bait among their extensive line of goods.”

DENOMINATION $2 CID (Cook Islands) $20 CID (Cook Islands)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 15.55 grams 3.11 grams
DIMENSIONS 40.0 x 25.0 mm 22.5 x 14.0 mm
MODIFICATIONS Shaped with hook Shaped with hook
MINTAGE 2,000 1,000
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes