CIT applies its superb Smartminting technology to a 2500 year old classic of the ancient coin world

In this virus infested world, coin producers are adapting their release schedules to suit. CIT have always issued at the big international shows like the World Money Fair, the ANA, Tokyo and Beijing, but all of those except the first, which was lucky enough to sneak in before the proverbial doodoo hit the air circulator, have been severly impacted. Because of this CIT have launched a Spring Event for this next batch of issues.

Our favourite of these is this beautiful modern reimaging of one of the most important coins in the ancient world, indeed, one of the most important coins in numismatics – the Aeginetic Stater. Dating back to the seventh century BCE, it defined a Greek city state for hundreds of years and is the perfect subject for CIT and BH Mayer to focus their groundbreaking Smartminting technology on.

Depicting a later version of the stater, one showing the tortoise rather than the earlier sea turtle, it perfectly demostrates the capabilities of smartminting. Ultra high relief has become more common of late, but being able to crisply define it and then take it to extremes has always been an important characteristic of the technology, even more so since its enhancement this year. The level of relief on show here – don’t forget, it’s just an ounce in weight – is quite remarkable, especially given the level of detail.

This is a Cook Islands issue, so the geometric, almost Union Jack like pattern of lines that adorned the original obverse has given way to the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. The ‘unbound’ edge of the coin looks great and contributes to the reproduction. Boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity, the coin has a mintage of 999 pieces and gets a solid thumbs-up from us. An important coin given a proper reimagining by maintaining everything that made the original so iconic.


Aegina, an island in the Saronic Gulf just 27 kilometers from Athens, was a long-time rival of the iconic Greek city state. A great sea power of the mid-first millennium BCE, it was eventually brought down by its stance during the war with Persia and its reliance on slave labour for its economy. One thing Aegina has left us, however, is a truly iconic set of coin designs from what is generally considered to be the first mint established by a European city state, in this case by Pheidon of Argos.

As the first issuer of coins, there’s an obvious importance to the output, so it’s certainly helped that interest to have a design so iconic. The Aeginetic Stater, that originated around 700BC, is a stamped coin featuring a very high relief sea turtle, an animal sacred to Aphrodite. The Aeginetic weight standard of around 12.3 grams was widely adopted in the Greek world and continued to be struck for hundreds of years.

At the end of the 5th century BCE, after the conclusion of the Peloponnesian War, the sea turtle was replaced by the land tortoise Over the centuries, the design and quality of the depictions on the stater varied tremendously. A mix of them are depicted in the image below, and cover the period from around 600-450 BCE. The exception is the coin at top-left, which dates from around 380 BCE. It’s from this that the inspiration for CIT’s new imaging has been drawn and a fine example of just how well the ancients were able to strike a coin and of its role in the national identity.


This stunning ultra high relief coin has its beginnings to a coin that was struck over 2500 years ago! The turtle was used during ancient Greek times as a monetary symbol and was struck on coins that were first made on the island of Aegina in the south of Greece. Today, the original ancient turtle coins are highly prized and extremely valuable.

Do you know the difference between a turtle and a tortoise? Both are reptiles with bodies encased in a bony shell. But compared to turtles which live in water and have flippers a tortoise is an exclusive land animal with elephant-like hind legs and can’t swim.

CIT is proud to release this brand new issue which captures every detail in stunning smartminting© ultra high relief. The tortoise’s iconic shell that they call their home stretches unbelievably high from the surface of the coin. Its legs and head combined with his shell make it look like the tortoise is walking across the coin! The coin is struck in an antique finish to pay tribute to the ancient coins of the past.

DENOMINATION $5 CID (Cook Islands)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief Smartminting
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes