Every year at the World Money Fair in Berlin, collector favourite coin producer CIT (Coin Invest Trust) release their eagerly awaited annual entrants in the Tiffany Art and Mongolian Wildlife Protection series. While these rarely disappoint, we usually find that it is elsewhere in the release catalogue that our favourite new coins appear. Last year brought us the innovative Space-Time Continuum, (followed up this year by the beautiful Time Capsule,) and the impressive Great Tea Race, a superb early example of the benefits of smartminting.
This year has seen some equally impressive launches. As well as the aforementioned Time Capsule which we’ve already covered, there’s a fine Scarab set and a well-timed Castro coin to come, but here its an unexpected new one-off that impressed me the most. Commemorating a century since the death of airship pioneer Count Zeppelin, this is a fine example of how smartminting copes with rapid changes of level.
The reverse face carries a bust image of the Count and it’s a brilliant piece of work, one of the best renditions of a historical figure we’ve ever seen sculpted on a coin. A small Zeppelin airship flying over a landscape completes the background. There’s a nice layered look to the design, almost as if the Count is posing in front of a window. Inscriptions, including a facsimile of his signature, are well placed and not impeding on the main artwork. The obverse is of an equally high standard. The angled coin image lower down shows it better than the face on picture, but this face has an extraordinary level of depth to its design, helped in no small measure by the polar bear at the bottom. The level of relief of the airship is high and the overall sense of perspective is spot-on.
On the obverse also sits, unusually for this face, the inset feature and it’s a very cool one. A small fragment of actual Zeppelin skin is mounted in a small struck frame, giving the coin a truly historical significance. The obligatory Cook Islands effigy of the Queen and the coin denomination etc. are kept clear of the artwork. As you may have guessed by now, I like this one a lot. It looks great in the hand, has a pretty unique subject matter, is artistically bang on target and as usual, is expertly struck. Supplied in a latex skin ‘Nimbus’ frame and supplied with a certificate, this three-ounce silver coin will have a maximum mintage of 499 pieces.
Shipping in April and selling for around €300, most of our sponsors sell CIT stuff so just check out the ad bar for some good links. If you’re looking for something in gold and substantially cheaper, CIT have yet again produced a minigold (0.5g) version which features reverse face artwork similar to the big silver. It’s an increasingly popular format that CIT have long championed.