CIT Big City Lights Coin Features Sydney Opera House

CIT: Big City Lights - Sydney Silver Coin. Image: CIT.
CIT: Big City Lights – Sydney Silver Coin. Image: CIT.

Big City Lights – Sydney

Cook Islands. 5 Dollars 2023. Silver .999. 1 oz. 50 mm. Proof. Mintage: 2,023 pieces. Special technology: smartminting® (High Relief) with partial color application. Minted by B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt, Munich.

Cook Islands. 5 Dollars 2023. Gold .9999. 0.5 g. 11 mm. Proof. Mintage: 5,000 pieces. Minted by B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt, Munich.

Description of the Coin


One side of the silver coin features the illuminated skyline of night-time Sydney with the Opera House in the foreground on the left, above it BIG / CITY / LIGHTS 2023.

One side of the small gold coin shows the Sydney skyline in the Art Deco style with radial sun rays, in front of it “G’day from”; below SYDNEY / 2023.

The other side features the portrait of Elizabeth II, below IRB (= Ian Rank-Broadley), and around it the legend ELIZABETH II COOK ISLANDS / 5 DOLLARS.


The second issue of CIT’s successful Big City Lights series of 2023 is dedicated to one of the world’s most popular metropolises: Sydney, Australia. This choice was inspired by an anniversary: in 2023, the Sydney Opera House celebrates its 50th birthday.

The iconic building was created based on designs by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon. It contains five theaters with 5,541 seats, a cinema, four restaurants, six bars, countless dressing and rehearsal rooms, offices, and, last but not least, several souvenir shops. Completing this mammoth project cost several times the agreed budget and took a decade longer than expected. Instead of in 1963, the opening did not take place until October 20, 1973. Since then, the Opera House has become Sydney’s new landmark. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007.

Anyone who visited this impressive city has fond memories of Sydney’s city lights, which CIT perfectly captured on this coin. B. H. Mayers Kunstprägeanstalt applied the black coloring to the design with utmost precision so that there was no need to add additional color for the illuminated windows – the effect is achieved by the natural luster of the Proof finish shining through the black color.

The accompanying small gold coin in the style of an Art Deco poster is a special highlight. It is a perfect gift or souvenir for all the fans of this wonderful city.

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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