Guitar pick shaped coins commemorate fifty years since the iconic cultural event Woodstock took place

One of the biggest and most impactful music events in history, Woodstock brought together some of the biggest bands of the late Sixties to play in a field meant to hold a fraction of the 400,000 that turned up. Like a lot of cultural events from the period, their influence felt much later on, Woodstock wasn’t popular with the locals, who spent decades afterwards trying to stop a repeat of the festival, but it has helped define a period in a way that wasn’t repeated until perhaps Live Aid in 1985.

Surprisingly, there’s been little in the way of coins commemorating Woodstock, so it was good to see CIT’s new ‘guitar-pick’ format, recently debuting as part of their new AC/DC 2019 range, employed to do the honours. The visual style of that coin, which you can see further down, is also used here, and to great effect. These are also minted by BH Mayer, and we wouldn’t be surprised to learn CIT had a hand in producing them.

The whole ‘flower-power’ look was very influential at the time and has been used to cover the background field of the reverse face. The 50th anniversary logo is sited across the coin and it all works well to bring out the essence of the times. The obverse carries the Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, as you would expect of a Cook Islands issue. It’s strange to believe that she’d been adorning coins for some 17 years before Woodstock even took place.

Unlike the ¼ oz silver AC/DC coin, the Woodstock issue also gets a gold release of equal weight. We understand that both will come boxed with a certificate of authenticity, but have yet to get images of them. The CIT issue came mounted to a blistercard, which doesn’t sound as good, but actually looks great. We’ve seen that coin and can confirm these are very cool designs and should have a lot of appeal to music buffs. Available to order now.


Woodstock was a music festival held August 15–18, 1969, on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, New York, 43 miles (70 km) Southwest of Woodstock. Billed as “an Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music”, it attracted an audience of more than 400,000. It was alternatively referred to as the Bethel Rock Festival or the Aquarian Music Festival. Thirty-two acts performed outdoors despite sporadic rain.

The festival has become widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history, as well as a defining event for the “counterculture generation”. The event’s significance was reinforced by a 1970 documentary film, an accompanying soundtrack album, and a song written by Joni Mitchell that became major hits for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Matthews Southern Comfort. Music events bearing the Woodstock name have been planned for anniversaries including the tenth, twentieth, twenty-fifth, thirtieth, fortieth, and fiftieth. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine listed it as number 19 of the 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll. In 2017, the festival site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Source: Wikipedia)

A 50th anniversary festival was planned to take place in August of 2019, but like many events of this type, the financial and logistical problems involved in bringing something of this scale to fruition, proved too much for the organisers. On 31 July 2019, the plans were cancelled, so its down to just a few scattered groups to remember a truly groundbreaking cultural event.

DENOMINATION $2 Cook Islands $50 Cook Islands
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 7.78 grams 7.78 grams
DIMENSIONS 31.0 mm 40.5 mm
FINISH Antique Matt proof
MINTAGE 1,969 500
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes