Coin Invest Trusts huge release of new coins at this years Berlin World Money Fair encompassed both the regular strike, and a wide range of the more unusual and experimental designs that CIT are known for. The piece featured today is one that probably strays the furthest from being a traditional coin, as instead of having a glass insert like the Tiffany range, large parts of it are actually formed of glass made using a centuries old technique.

There are several forms of the Murrine Glass process, and CIT have stayed with Millefiori (Italian ‘1,000 flowers’), a technique comprising scores of small glass discs being slowly melted in a mould to form the required shape, which is then set into a silver coin. While comprising just 20g of silver, the coin is a huge 65mm in diameter, a by-product of the glass design that due to its formation, is unique to every single coin. The 2016 release is a more focused and subtle design that last years debut for the series which was an absolute riot of colour. The same layout and heart motif is carried over, but the glass design is considerably different. The obverse is much improved, carrying a distinct design around the rim in comparison to the blank space on the 2015 effort.

Coins like these are ones you either love or hate I think. Given last years sold out and there’s a new one this year generating interest, enough people love them to make them a success.  The great experimenter seems to have struck the bullseye again. Packaged in a customised wooden box as most new CIT coins are, the 999 mintage coin is up for pre-order in the €120-150 range, but doesn’t appear to be shipping until late May/early June. The coin incorporates CIT/Bayer’s SeQrySign marking to help prevent counterfeiting.

MURANO GLASS

Made on the Venetian island that bears its name, Murano glassmakers have been at the forefront of European glass technology for many centuries, and have developed or refined multiple methods including crystalline glass, enamelled glass (smalto), glass with threads of gold (aventurine), multicolored glass (millefiori), milk glass (lattimo), and imitation gemstones made of glass.

Located 1.5 km (0.93 mi) from the main city Venice, Italy, Murano has been a commercial port since as far back as the 7th century. It is believed that glassmaking in Murano originated in 8th-century Rome, with significant Asian and Muslim influences, as Venice was a major trading port. Murano glass is similar to the 1st-century BC Greek glasses found then shipwreck of Antikythera. Murano’s reputation as a centre for glassmaking was born when the Venetian Republic, fearing fire and destruction of the city’s mostly wooden buildings, ordered glassmakers to move their foundries to Murano in 1291. Murano glass is the largest proportion of Venetian glass.

Murano’s glasssmakers were soon the island’s most prominent citizens. By the 14th century, glassmakers were allowed to wear swords, enjoyed immunity from prosecution by the Venetian state, and their daughters permitted to marry into Venice’s most affluent families. However glassmakers were not allowed to leave the Republic. Exportation of a professional secret was punished by death. Many craftsmen took this risk and set up glass furnaces in surrounding cities and as far afield as England and the Netherlands. By the end of the 16th century, three thousand of Murano island’s seven thousand inhabitants were involved in some way in the glassmaking industry.

Because of competition from Asian and Eastern European imitations, as well as changing consumer taste, the number of glassmakers on the island has declined from 6,000 to around 1,000 over the last 25 years. It remains a large industry, however, and the artisans on Murano still hand craft everything from contemporary art glass and glass figurines to Murano glass chandeliers and wine stoppers, as well as tourist souvenirs.

The Murano glass is made up of 70% silica sand, added to 30% of other substances called “fluxes” and “stabilizers” (soda and lime). These added “fluxes” allows the glass to be melted at a lower temperature, and the “stabilizers” prevent the glass’s solubility in water. When the glass melts at a lower temperature, it is possible to create homogeneous and bubble free Murano glass.The Murano glass in its basic composition is colourless. The colours are obtained by adding small amounts of minerals, oxides, and chemical derivatives to the base composition of the glass powder. This is the Murano magic that creates infinite combinations of transparent colours, crayons and alabasters.

(Source: Wikipedia)

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Like the previous edition, the second issue in this series also features an elaborate combination of fine silver and colourful glass elements. State of the art minting technology is combined with the millenia-old Millefiori tradition, which already inspired the ancient Romans.

Each coin is unique, as the coloured glass pieces within the heart and ring ornaments melt into each other to create an unparalleled pattern. Furthermore, the inclusion of SeQrySign®, developed by CIT, makes this new edition even more precious and counterfeit resistant.

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 COOK ISLANDS 0.999 SILVER 20.0 g 65.0 mm PROOF 999 YES / YES
COIN INVEST TRUST