Meteorite Impacts: La Ciénega Meteorite

Cook Islands. 5 Dollars 2021. Silver .999. 1 oz. 26 mm. Antique finish. Mintage: 2,500. Special technology: Piedfort; with embedded piece of a meteorite in the coin edge. B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt, Munich.

Description of the Coin

One side shows the impact of the Ciénega meteorite in the Sonoran Desert in Mexico. Above, the inscription la Ciénega Meteorite; below, 2021.

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

A piece of the meteorite is embedded in the broad reeded edge.

Background

Meteorite Impact is probably the only series worldwide that applies cutting-edge minting technology in such a versatile way. International experts have honored this with an award twice. Be it smartminting technology, constantly changing ways of color application, different metals, or designs, CIT has been reinventing the series every year since 2004. No issue looks like the previous one. There is just one thing they have in common: every coin contains a tiny piece of the meteorite it is dedicated to. In this spirit, CIT also came up with something new for the 17th issue released in 2021: previously, the meteorites had been inserted on the obverse or reverse – now, the fragment is embedded in the edge.

That is a first for inlay technology! To make it possible, CIT created a piedfort. This term is used in classical numismatics to describe a coin that is much thicker than usual.

This issue is dedicated to the La Ciénega meteorite, which was discovered in 2007 by gold prospector Greg Bruce while looking for gold in the ghost town of the same name in Sonora, Mexico. Instead of gold, he found meteorites and some fragments with a total weight of just 7,632 grams.

That is not very much. Meteorites can weigh up to several tons. The current record was set by the Hoba Meteorite in Namibia with a weight of about 60 tons.

CIT succeeded in securing a part of La Ciénega to create a coin that is of great interest to space fans, mineral collectors, and coin enthusiasts alike. As with the first release of 2004, CIT will only issue 2,500 specimens – and experience tells us that they will be sold out very quickly.

If you miss this issue, you have to wait for the next one, which will be released in 2022. Which meteorite will it contain? Who knows. Maybe El Boludo, which was discovered by Greg Bruce in 2013. By now, he is not only prospecting for gold anymore but also for meteorites – and he is quite successful.

Further Information

www.cit.li/coins/la-cienega-meteorite

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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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