The 7 Summits – Elbrus
Cook Islands. 25 Dollars 2021. Silver .999. 5 oz. 65 mm. BU. Mintage: 777. Special technology: smartminting (Ultra High Relief) with partial color application. B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt, Munich.
Description of the Coin
One side shows a bird’s-eye view of Mount Elbrus, whose peaks are minted in raised relief. The piece is partially colored in gray, green, blue, and white. The inscription reads ELBRUS 5642 m – Caucasus Mountains, Eurasia / THE 7 SUMMITS / 2021.
The other side features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley (signature IRB below the neck). In the right field micro minting .999. Around it the legend ELIZABETH II – COOK ISLANDS 25 DOLLARS.
In 2021, CIT presents the sixth and thus penultimate issue of its successful 7 Summits series, which has featured a different representative of the seven highest mountains on all seven continents every year since 2016. The 2021 issue is dedicated to Mount Elbrus, Russia’s highest mountain with a height of 5,642 m, which has been challenging Mont Blanc’s position as the highest mountain of Europe ever since geographers began questioning the traditional border between Europe and Asia.
The border was set as early as 1730 by the German surveyor Philip Johan von Strahlenberg on behalf of the tsar. He established the border west of Mount Elbrus, counting the mountain as part of Asia.
This made Mont Blanc, with its height of 4,810 m, Europe’s highest mountain. Today, many geographers want to move the border further east. For them, the watershed of the Greater Caucasus, including Mount Elbrus, separates Eastern Europe from Western Asia. With this change, Mount Elbrus would clearly be located in Europe.
Whether in Europe or Asia, the cone-shaped mountain has impressed many people. He plays a role in both Jewish and Greek mythology. Noah is said to have been stranded there with his ark before reaching Mount Ararat, and Prometheus served his sentence imposed by Zeus on the summit of Mount Elbrus.
The first ascent of the eastern peak is said to have taken place in 1829, that of the western peak almost half a century later, in 1874. Today, the mountain hosts one of the most famous ski areas in Russia. Among alpinists, Mount Elbrus is also considered a tourist highlight that is visited by 350,000 tourists a year, of whom at least one in 20 intends to climb the summit. So you have to be quick to be able to get your hands on this sixth issue of the 7 Summits series. Due to its ultra-high relief, which is a perfect reconstruction of the mountain, it is likely to remind many summiteers of the arduous climb and the elation after the successful ascent.
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