TRAPPED (2019-) by CIT Coin Invest
We have a particular fondness here for coin designs that do things quite differently from whatever the trend of the time is. In 2019, the ancient mythology theme was the darling of the coin world, and while some stunning designs were released in the genre, there was a basic underlying style to most of them. In the midst of that came CIT, with ‘Trapped’, with a concept and execution utterly unique.
The series tells the claustrophobic tale of someone confined behind a fabric sheet, but they’re not alone. From the first coin’s screaming face, through the hands desperately trying to find a way out, and on to the shock appearance of a vampiric face about to feed on our protagonist, there’s a palpable build-up in tension, a story technique very unusual in numismatics. The latest 2022 coin is a clear step up in detail, yet loses little of the mystery behind the first trio. Awesome stuff.
Best of all, these are not hugely expensive compared to CIT’s usual two and three ounce series, weighing in at one-ounce in weight. It’s terrific that they resisted the urge to go big with Trapped, and this unique series is open to more collectors as a result. Saying that, a kilo variant would look amazing, so who knows? As always, we’ll use this guide to keep track of new annual issues.
The coin that kicked off the series, you can immediately see the series has huge potential. The overlying ‘mesh’ follows the counters of the face to give the creepy impression of someone screaming to get out of confinement. It’s the simplest design in the series to date, but works perfectly to set it up. Nobody should be surprised this was a hit on release.
A move away from the face for this one, quite a bold move. The pair of hands are equally well done, however, and serve to ramp up the sense of panic felt by whoever is behind the sheet. An expert application of antique finishing serves to enhance the sense of depth.
Here we see what our protagonist has been panicking about. The appearance of a fanged, second face reaching for the first, increases the intensity of the scene even further. It’s quite exquisite to see how the light plays across this coin as you move it around.
The first in the series to see the fabric tear apart to reveal what is behind. Simply gorgeous, the sense of depth imparted by the layout is outstanding. Keeping much of the face behind the sheet contrasts greatly with the heavily clawed fingers that give the feeling something is entering our world from elsewhere. Detail abounds everywhere, and it maintains the exceptionally clean and uncluttered look of the earlier issues.
Now we can see it wasn’t the vampiress trying to escape, but her captive. Or was it? Perhaps this female creature of the night was the one tied in the chair, either as a human about to turn, or while she was already a vampire. We’ll have to wait until 2024 for more clues.
Not much to be said about the obverse design. It’s one that CIT uses regularly for many of its Cook Islands issues. The island nation is part of the Commonwealth, and has Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. The Ian Rank Broadley effigy of her remains the sole pictorial element of the obverse.
Packaging is pretty standard CIT fare, comprised of a nice themed tin. The design is common to the series, and it holds a Certificate of Authenticity. They’re not too large either, something we appreciate.