Cook Islands. 5 Dollars. 2021. Silver .999. 1 oz. Proof. 38.61 mm. Mintage: 1,500. Special technology: color; black silk finish; smartminting® (Ultra High Relief). B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt, Munich.
Description of the Coin
One side features a Siamese fighting fish, below ECLECTIC NATURE; the field is divided into two unequal parts, one of them has a shiny Proof finish, the other a black finish.
The other side features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley (initials: IRB); around it the name of the ruler, the issuing nation, and the denomination.
Eclectic Nature – this term needs some explaining.
With this theme, CIT picks up a principle that dates back to antiquity, when the term ἐκλεκτός was created. The idea behind it was probably best summarized by Saul of Tarsus in his Epistle to the Thessalonians: “Try all and keep the good!” Today, eclecticism is understood as the art of knowing all – even and especially the opposing – aspects of an issue and of merging them to create a new unity.
The Siamese fighting fish was chosen as the motif for Eclectic Nature because it is a product of breeding that goes back about a millennium and combines extremely diverse colors and characteristics. With its many colors and wide, flowing fins, the Siamese fighting fish is considered the most beautiful aquarium fish out there. It combines high intelligence with atavistic territorial behavior, which causes it to defend its territory so aggressively that fights often end with both opponents being killed. For centuries, its aggressiveness was abused for animal fights, and high sums were bet on the outcome.
CIT showcases the unique beauty of the Siamese fighting fish with precise color printing and smartminting technology on a commemorative coin that is just as unique as the fish itself. The different features of the creature are represented by the different finishes of the field: shiny Proof on one side, silk black finish on the other. Just like yin and yang, the different characteristics of the Siamese fighting fish come together to form one creature of exceptional beauty, and this is playfully picked up by this commemorative coin.
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CoinWeek Podcast #155: Ultra-Modern Coins Take Over
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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.