Pegasos is one of the most commonly depicted creatures on Greek coinage. And there’s a good reason for it: the motif of the Pegasos was featured on coins from Corinth. And this city, located on the Isthmus named after Corinth, was a trading center that founded numerous colonies. All the colonies of Corinth adopted the currency of their mother city: staters depicting a Pegasos. To show where a “Corinthian” stater came from, the colonies put the first letter of their city’s name on the obverse, directly below the Pegasos. Thus, CIT’s designers followed an ancient Greek tradition when they decided to abbreviate the issuing nation as “CI” for Cook Islands and to place this inscription below the Pegasos. The coin was minted at B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt in Munich using the special smartminting® technique in ultra high relief.
Description of the Coin
The design of one side was inspired by the staters of the city of Corinth and depicts a soaring Pegasos to the left; below C-I for Cook Islands.
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.
The reason why Corinth attached such an importance to the Pegasos is that it was said to have been tamed in this very city. With the help of the goddess Athena, the Corinthian hero Bellerophon threw a bridle over the winged stallion Pegasos in order to ride him. And therefore, Pegasos carried him through the air when Bellerophon fought the Chimera.
Inspired by Greek coinage, CIT developed “Pegasos” – a coin that reinterprets Greek imagery with state-of-the-art technology. The ancient engravers would have been fascinated by the lifelike depiction of the horse taking off for flight. For the first time, this new issue of the Numismatic Icons series is not only available in silver but also in gold. To this end, CIT combined the material gold and smartminting® technology with an elaborate antique finish for the very first time. The result are coins of a kind that couldn’t have been more beautiful if the ancient Greeks had created them.
Further information about the coin on the CIT website.
You can find more CIT coins in the online database of Cosmos of Collectibles.
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Read here more about the Pegasos of Corinth.
Don’t miss out on watching this film to experience all three dimensions of this incredible coin: