Spring Launch Special: CIT releases a wide range of new issues, and here are three of our favourites
It’s Spring Launch time, and we’re absolutely inundated with new coin issues from some of the industry’s biggest producers, We obviously can’t cover them all on release day (there are about 80 so far!), so we’ll take three from three to kick off the coverage. Starting it off are three coins from the legends at CIT, and we’ll follow with MDM and Mint XXI later, hopefully today. It’s a terrific selection all round.
The three we’ve chosen from CIT are actually all additions to existing series, proof that continuing something doesn’t mean stagnation – far from it. The selection is also about as wide as can be, from our ancient numismatic heritage, through dreaming of idealism, to head-banging Heavy Metal music. If that isn’t an indicator of the wonderful selection of designs and themes that make up the modern coin world, we don’t know what is. Enjoy…
NUMISMATIC ICONS: ARETHUSA
We’re starting off with the fourth issue in what we think is one of the best numismatic series being issued today. Reimagining ancient coins using state-of-the-art minting techniques, these benefit from the sheer beauty of the source material, and the excellence of smartminting. The first issue was an Aeginian Tortoise, the second an Athenian Owl, and the third a Corinthian Pegasos. For 2023, CIT have drawn from the numismatic heritage of Syracuse for their first human design of the series – Arethusa.
Arethusa was depicted in several variants, this one taken from a classic decadrachm from around 400 BCE, surrounded by dolphins. While this looks like a modern depiction, it’s actually very close to the 2,400-year-old original, a reminder that the coin effigy is nothing new. The CI mark is for the issuing Cook Islands. Sadly, the original’s stunning quadriga chariot obverse hasn’t made the jump, but that’s hardly surprising given the sheer level of the high-relief here for what is only a one-ounce coin. A brilliant entrant in a stunning series. I’ve got a tiny personal coin budget, but even I’ve taken the plunge for these (except missing the tortoise, sadly). Minigold collectors will be pleased to see a version for themselves.
MINTS DESCRIPTION: Arethusa, a captivating nymph and companion to the moon goddess Artemis in Greek mythology. According to legend, she unknowingly bathed in a river belonging to the river god Alpheus, whom she inadvertently seduced with her beauty. Arethusa, wanting nothing of his advances, fled her home in Arcadia. Relentlessly pursued by Alpheus, she sought help from Artemis. The latter transformed the nymph into a stream under the sea, which emerges as a water fountain on the island of Ortygia in Syracuse, Sicily. The Syracusan coins with Arethusa’s image are said to be among the most stunning of ancient Greece and regularly achieve record prices at auctions.
|$5 Cook Islands||31.1 g of 0.999 silver||33 mm||Antique, smartminting||1,500|
|$5 Cook Islands||0.5 g of 0.9999 gold||12 mm||Silk||5,000|
|$250 Cook Islands||31.1 g of 0.9999 gold||30 mm||Antique, smartminting||199|
Last year, CIT debuted a terrific new series called Daydreamer, depicting someone drawing back the curtains of their imagination to reveal a spectacular world behind. A hugely original idea for a coin, that first issue had a man pulling back those curtains to reveal a futuristic city vista, complete with flying cars and robots, and the contrast between the grey, antique-finished real-world the man occupies, and the brightly coloured fantasy world, is stark and effective.
Instead of the future, the 2023 coin looks back at the past, with a mid-20th century child pulling back the curtain to reveal a world of dinosaurs and biplanes. It’s a neat homage to the movies of the 1970s, usually starring Doug McClure. Every kids dream, perhaps. Whatever the case, a fine example of original design, beautifully realised.
MINTS DESCRIPTION: For the 2nd time, we slip behind the curtain and find ourselves in the fantastic world of the «Daydreamer». We steal away from the day-to-day noise and seek a serene place to indulge in our reveries. We imagine thrilling adventures, marvel at colossal dinosaurs and glide through the air aboard propeller planes, much like we used to do in our childhood.
|$10 Palau||62.2 g of 0.999 silver||45 mm||Antique, colour, smartminting||1,500|
IRON MAIDEN: PIECE OF MIND
A surprise massive hit when they debuted a few years ago, AC/DC coins spawned a music coin genre that has flourished of late, with an eclectic selection of designs from several producers. One of the early pioneers was CIT with their own AC/DC range, and they’re now firmly entrenched in the Iron Maiden world, especially with the band’s iconic ‘spokesman’, Eddie, who has been the star of a whole range recently.
The latest issue is inspired by Eddie’s appearance on the band’s ‘Piece of Mind’ album, showing the fan favourite character restrained in a padded cell. The coin is a fine example of how a property can make the transition to modern numismatics without slavishly copying the source material. Eddie is bursting through the coin face, courtesy of smartminted high-relief, a great nod to his current incarceration. It’s impressive how high-relief can be coloured to such a standard these days, not just at CIT. There’s even a micro-engraved border, and the record groove obverse is a great touch.
As well as the two-ounce silver flagship coin, there’s a minigold, a CIT speciality, and also an increasingly rare silver foil banknote, We’ll add them all to our copious guide to modern music coins.
MINTS DESCRIPTION: Following the band’s chart-topping album «Number of The Beast», the pressure was on for Iron Maiden. However, their next release «Piece of Mind» in 1983 proved their ambition was unparalleled. Their 4th album was a critical and commercial success, reaching number three in the UK album charts and going platinum in the UK and North America. As a tribute to the 40th anniversary of «Piece of Mind», Eddie, Iron Maiden’s mascot, is featured on three exceptional issues. On a 2-ounce silver, a half-gram gold and a 5-gram silver note, he fights his shackles as an imprisoned maniac.
|$10 Cook Islands||62.2 g of 0.999 silver||38.61 mm||Proof, colour, smartminting||999|
|$1 Cook Islands||5.0 g of 0.999 silver||150 x 70 mm||Prooflike, colour||5,000|
|$5 Cook Islands||0.5 g of 0.9999 gold||11.0 mm||Proof||15,000|
Leave A Comment