Ancient Corinthian Stater Celebrated With Pegasos Coin From CIT

Ancient Corinthian Stater Celebrated With Pegasos Coin From CIT

Numismatic Icons: Pegasos

Cook Islands. 5 Dollars. 2022. Silver .999. 1 oz. Approx. 33 mm. Antique finish. Mintage: 999 pieces. Special technology: smartminting® (Ultra High Relief). B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt, Munich.

Cook Islands. 250 Dollars. 2022. Gold .9999. 1 oz. Approx. 30 mm. Antique finish. Mintage: 199 pieces. Special technology: smartminting (Ultra High Relief). B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt, Munich.

Description of the Coin

The design of one side was inspired by the staters of the city of Corinth and depicts a soaring Pegasos to the left; below C-I for Cook Islands.

The other side features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley (initials: IRB); around it the name of the ruler, the issuing nation and the denomination.


Pegasos is one of the most commonly depicted creatures on Greek coinage. And there’s a good reason for it: the motif of the Pegasos was featured on coins from Corinth. And this city, located on the isthmus named after Corinth, was a trading center that founded numerous colonies. All the colonies of Corinth adopted the currency of their mother city: staters depicting Pegasos. To show where a “Corinthian” stater came from, the colonies put the first letter of their city’s name on the obverse, directly below the Pegasos. Thus, CIT designers followed an ancient Greek tradition when they decided to abbreviate the issuing nation as “CI” for Cook Islands and to place this inscription below the Pegasos.

The reason why Corinth attached such an importance to the Pegasos is that it was said to have been tamed in this very city. With the help of the goddess Athena, the Corinthian hero Bellerophon threw a bridle over the winged stallion Pegasos in order to ride him. And therefore, Pegasos carried him through the air when Bellerophon fought the Chimera.

Inspired by Greek coinage, CIT developed “Pegasos” – a coin that reinterprets Greek imagery with state-of-the-art technology. The ancient engravers would have been fascinated by the lifelike depiction of the horse taking off for flight. For the first time, this new issue of the Numismatic Icons series is not only available in silver but also in gold. To this end, CIT combined the material gold and smartminting technology with an elaborate antique finish for the very first time. The result are coins of a kind that couldn’t have been more beautiful if the ancient Greeks had created them.

Further Information

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CoinWeek Podcast #155: Ultra-Modern Coins Take Over

Mobile phone users. Stream this podcast for free by downloading the podomatic app or subscribe to the CoinWeek Podcast on iTunes.

In this episode of the CoinWeek Podcast, we have a lively, interesting, and provocative conversation with Chang Bullock and Orlando Lorenzana of CIT, where we talk about how ultra-modern coins (or postmodern coins, as we call them) have taken over the contemporary coin market and how CIT’s innovations in color and coin minting technology are changing the game for private and sovereign mints.

You cannot walk away from this podcast without learning something about the way minting has changed–and has always been changing throughout the course of monetary history–and we hope it will give you a clearer picture of where we are heading.

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