Steampunk – Nautilus
Cook Islands. 20 Dollars 2022. Silver .999. 3 oz. 50 mm. Antique finish. Mintage: 888. Special Technology: smartminting© (Ultra High Relief), combined with partial gilding. B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt, Munich.
Description of the Coin
One side features an inhabited underwater world in steampunk style: The foreground on the left is dominated by a man in a diving suit. To his right the Nautilus, in the shape of a zeppelin. Several mechanical or mechanically modified sea creatures traverse the underwater world, on the bottom of the sea is a station from which bubbles rise upwards. On the diving suit, next to a squid the year 2022.
The other side depicts a circular construction of various gearwheels and other functional elements; off-centered is a circular area with the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II to the right, around it her title, the name of the country, and the denomination; on the rim a broad ribbon with the name of the series STEAMPUNK.
By now, Nautilus is the third issue of the popular Steampunk series, which has attracted great interest not only among coin collectors. Steampunk is an established and vivid subculture, with its members thinking about what alternative realities might look like. Jules Verne and his futuristic descriptions are often used as a starting point. Therefore, the third Steampunk issue is dedicated to what is probably the most famous work by Jules Verne: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
The story of Captain Nemo, which was first published by Jules Verne as a serial novel between 1869 and 1870, focuses on the submarine Nautilus, a technology that we take for granted today. The plot of the novel was inspired by the Plongeur, the first submarine of the French Navy. Jules Verne had the opportunity to examine its model in detail at the 1867 Paris World’s Fair. It inspired his adventures at the bottom of the sea. Millions of readers witnessed Captain Nemo’s battle against the giant squid with red cheeks and marveled at the ruins of legendary Atlantis through the eyes of Professor Aronnax. At times, this caused Jules Verne’s many promising descriptions of the future to fade into the background: he prophesied that it would be possible to exploit mineral resources on the bottom of the sea and to build electrically operated submarines.
With its latest coins from the Steampunk series, CIT has created a wonderful tribute to Jules Verne’s world, where the mechanized nature of the underwater world becomes part of an old-fashioned-looking future. It takes time to fully appreciate the originality of all the small details of the depiction, which come to life thanks to exquisite smartminting technology.
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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.