CIT Issues 5th Coin in Iron Maiden Album Cover Series

Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark

Cook Islands. 5 Dollars. 2022 Silver .999. 1 oz. 38.61 mm. Mintage: 1,992 pieces. Special technology: Obsidian Black Finish with color application. B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt, Munich.

Description of the Coin

One side features the cover of the ninth studio album of the English heavy metal group Iron Maiden with the title Fear of the Dark.

The other side features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley (initials: IRB); around it ELIZABETH II 5 DOLLARS COOK ISLANDS 2022.


On May 11, 1992, Iron Maiden released their ninth studio album. Its title was Fear of the Dark and it included hits such as “Be Quick or Be Dead” and the eponymous track. The cover, which is picked up by CIT for its fifth issue of the Iron Maiden series, was the first to not be designed by Derek Riggs. His suggestions were rejected in favor of the ideas of then-unknown illustrator Melvyn Grant.

Grant had a completely different background. He created large-scale oil paintings that were mainly used as book covers for science fiction and fantasy novels. In fact, Grant’s cover is strongly reminiscent of the cover of a horror novel despite the use of the group’s mascot Eddie. Mick Wall, the group’s biographer, described the depiction “as some sort of Nosferatu tree figure leering at the moon”.

The group liked the new design. Melvyn Grant would go on to create numerous other covers for Iron Maiden. After Derek Riggs, he is the artist who designed the second-highest number of covers. With the help of state-of-the-art color technology, CIT succeeded in captivating the threatening atmosphere of the Iron Maiden cover. In combination with Obsidian Black, the yellow moon against the dark backdrop illustrates exactly what the text of the name-giving song describes: Watching horror films the night before / Debating witches and folklore / The unknown troubles on your mind / Maybe your mind is playing tricks / You sense and suddenly eyes fix / On dancing shadows from behind.

Although critics were not enthusiastic about the cover, the fans loved it. Fear of the Dark became the third Iron Maiden album that made it to the top of the UK album charts. And it became the group’s most successful album in North America.

Further Information

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CoinWeek Podcast #155: Ultra-Modern Coins Take Over

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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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