CIT, or Coin Invest Trust, have quickly become one of the most talked about mints in the world over the past two years or so. This, in no small part thanks to their “Smartminting” and “Big Gold Minting” technologies, which have made previously unimaginable coins not only possible but a reality.
It has also become a bit of a habit for them to reveal new coin designs at international coin shows as a bit of a surprise. The Sea Turtle and Laughing Buddha coins were both revealed at the Singapore International Coin Fair, with the Berlin Money Fair and the annual World's Money Fair hosted by the ANA seeming particular favourites to announce major releases each year.
This then brings us to the Tokyo International Coin Convention where, true to form, CIT have again revealed four new designs. Amongst these we find the innovative Cherry Blossom Globe coin and the Princess Diana Memorial coin, but the subject of this article is the Remembrance Poppy Coin.
The Remembrance Poppy, or “Flanders Poppy” as it is known to some, is a silk reproduction of a common red field poppy used as a sign of memorial in many countries to honour fallen soldiers. It is a symbol that is widely used in Memorial day, Armistice day and remembrance day events around the world as well as ANZAC day in Australia and New Zealand.
The symbol first rose to prominence in 1921 following the efforts of American academic Moina Michael and the her French associate Anna Guérin to have the red poppy adopted as a symbol of remembrance. Their efforts were successful and the American and British Legions did just so, followed by most nations of the Commonwealth shortly after.
The inspiration for the Poppy flower is derived from the poem In Flanders Fields, as penned by Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on May the 3rd of 1915. He wrote the poem following the funeral of a friend and fellow soldier in the aftermath of the Second Battle of Ypres.
According to legend, he was initially dissatisfied with the poem and discarded it. His fellow soldiers then retrieved the crumpled-up paper and convinced him to have it published. He British magazine Punch became the first publication to print “In Flanders Fields” on December 8, 1915.
The most striking feature of this coin is the shape, not a round coin but rather it is shaped like the flower of a common poppy. The reverse is then receives a further colour treatment to best resemble the remembrance Poppy, with it's shaded red petals and a black and sun-burnt yellow to gold centre.
The obverse in turn again resembles the underside of the Flanders poppy, with fine details mimicking the underside of the flower's petals. Unlike the reverse though, the obverse is not colourised and is instead treated to a proof finish. To the lower right, in reverse proof, the words “LEST WE FORGET” are inscribed. The centre part of the obverse design appears as a regular proof coin with the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II and legend detailing the coins denomination and both date and country of origin. The legend encircles the Queen's portrait in a clockwise direction and reads : “ELIZABETH II”, “5 DOLLARS”, “COOK ISLANDS” and “2017”.
This innovative coin is stuck from 1oz of pure .999 Fineness silver, using CIT's Smartminting technology. The proof-like coin measures 45mm(1.7716 inch) in diameter at the broadest point and has a total mintage of 2500 coins.
The coin is shipped encapsulated in a very eye catching glossy black display box with the words “Remembrance Poppy” written on top along with an image of the flower. The coin is expected to ship by early August 2017 and is now available to pre-order from most of the larger international coin dealers at a price of €149.95 or US$169.95 each