December 15, 2011 – Coin Invest Trust (CIT) donates a representative assortment of its products to the British Museum’s coin cabinet. So CIT is backing an eternally up-to-date idea: collecting modern coins in museums before they become expensive historic documents!
Since the Renaissance it was a common act of courtesy among the aristocrats of old Europe to send one specimen of each of their representative coins or medals to the coin cabinets of other sovereigns they maintained friendly contacts with. After all the issuer wished his achievements, which he showed on the numismatic objects, to be remembered even after many centuries.
This idea was abandoned at a certain point: nowadays museums prefer to collect and exhibit objects from the past. Thus in a coin cabinet you might find ancient and modern coins but probably no contemporary specimens. But the coins that are struck today tell us equally about which values are important to us – and they still will speak of it in a hundred years.
The coin cabinet at the British Museum. Photo: UK.
The British Museum’s Department of Coins and Medals is one of the world’s finest numismatic collections and this year it looks back on a history of 150 years. In the 18th century the museum started with 20,000 coins. Today 17 curators take care of ca one million objects. There are not only coins and medals but also paper money, coin weights, tokens and historical coin boxes as well as Great Britain’s most extensive numismatic library. So it will not seem exaggerated to call this institution a “memory of the world’s money culture”!
Inner court of the British Museum. Photo: UK.
It was because of this, that the Coin Invest Trust (CIT) esteemed the British Museum to be the ideal partner for transmitting its innovative issues to the posterity. In 2011 Catherine Eagleton, Curator of modern money at the British Museum, received an assortment of 16 CIT-coins which keep record of the vast range of CIT’s products, and at the same time of the technical and aesthetic possibilities of coining in general.
Palau – 10 dollars – 999 silver – 2 oz – 50 mm – Mintage: 999.
In 2010 Palau issued a coin designed by CIT as part of the “Tiffany Art Collection”. This piece shows the exuberant art of 18th century rococo style and captures the viewer’s attention with an artistic insert of Tiffany glass.
Palau – 5 dollars – 925 silver – 25 g – 38.61 mm – Mintage: 1.608.
Another CIT silver coin issued by Palau was dedicated to “400 Years Telescope Invention”. It was a fitting idea to integrate a small optical glass.
Whether it be multicolored surfaces or holograms: Thanks to CIT’s donation the British Museum now can show everything modern coinage is able to perform.
Thus modern coinage finally experiences a well-deserved valorization by the museums: The issued coins will not only be appreciated by scientific cabinets in a far future. Even today the objects can contribute to a comprehensive and successful numismatic presentation. Let’s hope this trend-setting initiative will be followed widely from now on.
The British Museum has also published the CIT coins online.
High-resolution pictures of all donated coins you may find on the website of the Coin Invest Trust.