September 28, 2017 – For the Cook Islands, CIT continues the “Scarab Selection” series with a set limited to 499 pieces. The relief of the three 1 oz fine silver coins achieves an unprecedented height and wealth of detail thanks to smartminting© technology. The “Lunar Eclipse” edition complements fascinating colour with an additional inserted Swarowski® crystal.
Scarab Selection II – Lunar Eclipse: Cook Islands / 5 Dollars / Silver .999 / 1 oz / 38.61 mm / Mintage: 499.
Scarab Selection II – Beyond the World.
Scarab Selection II – Solitary Flame.
The obverse features the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of Elizabeth II of England against stylised ornaments, also her name, the name of the issuing nation, nominal value, and year of issue.
The reverse depicts a Scarab, combined with a black Swaroski® crystal in the “Lunar Eclipse” edition. Also featured are the name of the respective edition, “Beyond the World”, “Lunar Eclipse”, and “Solitary Flame”.
Two specimens of Scarabaeus sacer rolling a ball of dung. Photo: Hectonichus / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0.
In spite of being only 3 cm long, the “Holy Dung Beetle” (Scarabaeus sacer) performs astonishing tasks: balancing on its forelegs it uses its hind legs to roll dung balls which are many times its size and weight. Once buried in the ground, the ball, made from the dung of ungulates, serves as a cavity in which the female beetle lays its egg and later as food for the larvae before they emerge from underground to the sunlight as beetles.
The ancient Egyptians saw parallels between the solar cycle and the way the ball is rolled, buried, and the young beetles “hatched” from underground. That’s why they worshipped the gleaming Scarab as a symbol of Re, the god of the sun. In the form of amulets, the beetle was ubiquitous in Egyptian everyday life. As a seal or burial object, made from different materials, it was believed to be a protection from diseases and a lucky charm.
In this meaning it continues to be the perfect gift even today, especially in its numismatic rendition by CIT. Designed for the Cook Islands, the “Scarab Selection” series continues with this highly exclusive and limited edition of three new coins. Smartminting© renders the coins’ relief exceptionally high. The silver Scarab on the “Beyond the World” coin creates a stunning contrast to the gilded coin field, while the “Solitary Flame” features a rose gold beetle on a silver field. And the dark gleaming “Lunar Eclipse” creates a dramatic effect with its inserted black Swarowski® crystal.
The coins were minted by B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt GmbH. Collectors can purchase the issues through specialty dealers.
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Much information about scarab amulets in ancient Egypt can be found at the McClung Museum website.
And further details on the dung beetle as an insect are available on Encylopaedia Britannica.