CIT has dedicated a commemorative coin to author H.P. Lovecraft and his horror-fantasy creature Cthulhu. Even those who don’t know the name of the American author H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) will find that his creatures look very familiar to them. After all, the most important author of the 20th-century Gothic tale of terror has had a lasting impact on our imagination with his Cthulhu myth. Long before Tolkien, Lovecraft created a coherent anti-world as a background for many of his short stories. It was adopted by countless successors to make it the set of their own tales. The coin was minted in the B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt in Munich.
One side depicts the tentacled head of Cthulhu above the sea. Its tentacles are wrapped around a sailing ship, which is tiny in comparison, in the field incuse 2022. The other side features numerous tangled tentacles, between them the silhouette-like portrait of H.P. Lovecraft. Legend H. P. LOVECRAFT / 1890 / 1937. Above, the coat of arms of Palau with the circumscription REPUBLIC OF PALAU 20 $.
In 1926, Lovecraft completed the short story “Call of Cthulhu”, which was dismissed as trivial literature at the time. In this complex narrative structure, which only reveals the plot to the reader in bits and pieces, Lovecraft formulated the Cthulhu myth for the first time: Hidden in the real world, there is an anti-world that is ruled by the Great Old Ones. These terrible creatures aren’t subject to any kind of law of nature, so they have godlike powers and thus threaten human life. Cthulhu, to whom CIT dedicates this coin, is Lovecraft’s first creation. His awakening marks the start of man’s battle against the Great Old Ones for dominion over Mother Earth.
Cthulhu is a remotely humanoid being of great power, which came to Earth several hundred million years ago and sleeps in a sunken city. Woe betide you if he awakens! His face is a tangle of tentacles that he can use to drag even the most powerful fleet into the depth of the sea within a heartbeat. With this commemorative coin of the island state of Palau, CIT set a numismatic monument to a fearsome creature and its creator. For this purpose, CIT combined an ultra-high relief created by smartminting® technology with the most delicate color application. Those who look into Cthulhu’s brown eyes might remember that the awakening of the Great Old Ones can also be understood symbolically: Palau, the issuer of this coin, will be one of the first victims if sea levels continue to rise.
For more information on the coin, visit CIT’s website.
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If you want to experience all three dimensions of this coin, you have to watch this film:
And if you are curious to learn more abouth Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos, check out Cthulhu Files.