Mountains – Half Dome

Cook Islands. 10 Dollars 2023. Silver .999. 2 oz. 38.61 mm. Proof. Mintage: 1,500 pieces. Special technology: smartminting® (Ultra 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 shows Half Dome in color on a Proof field, on it HALF / DOME and the altitude of 2.693m next to an ice axe.

The other side features the portrait of Elizabeth II, below IRB (= Ian Rank-Broadley), around it the legend ELIZABETH II 10 DOLLARS COOK ISLANDS / 2023.

One side of the small gold coin shows the same design with 5 DOLLARS; the other side presents the same motif and the same legends in a different arrangement.

Background

Once you see Half Dome, you will never forget it. It looks like a sphere broken apart, and it became the landmark of Yosemite National Park. It plays a unique role in California. Therefore, the Californians chose it as a symbol of their state for the 50 States Quarter series. CIT now dedicates the second issue of its Mountains series to Half Dome, following the successful first issue of 2022, Matterhorn. In addition, an attractive small gold coin will be released.

As a result of the combination of ultra high relief achieved by smartminting technology and naturalistic but modest color application, the mountain’s depiction stands out almost monumentally from the Proof field. In this way, the unmistakable shape of Half Dome is perfectly staged. Incidentally, a rather small ice-age glacier is responsible for the rock formation’s look. It undermined one half of the mountain due to frost weathering, causing the rock to collapse piece by piece.

Until recently, up to 50,000 tourists climbed the mountain every year; this could add up to more than 1,000 hikers a day at peak season. What made the mountain so attractive is the fact that one did not need to be an experienced climber to feel like a mountaineer. It took eight to 12 hours to climb up and down, and the 1919 system of wire ropes and drilled holes helped to get over the dangerous slopes. Today, an official permit is a mandatory requirement for the ascent. It is “only” given to 300 people a day.

Further Information

www.cit.li/coins/mountains-half-dome-gold-0-5-g

www.cit.li/coins/mountains-half-dome-silver

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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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