In 2020 Cook Islands and CIT recognized the extreme bravery of Fighter Pilots on their first coin issue of the Real Heroes series. Using the same production techniques and attention to the emotive design features, CIT has embarked on a new Real Hero set.
The second release in the “Real Heroes” series issued from Cook Islands and designed by CIT honors the Firefighter, specifically from the New York City Fire Department, but emotionally representing firefighters everywhere. As CIT informed me, this coin is “A tribute to not only those who gave the ultimate sacrifice during 9/11, but to all Firefighters that we count on to keep us safe.”
Firefighter coins have been released in four extraordinary versions, each with limited mintages and differing physical characteristics, but all displaying the same emotive design. The heart and soul of a firefighter seems to be in the eyes of the figure on this design’s reverse.
In addition to a one ounce silver strike with mintage limit of 911 in honor of the FDNY firefighters who lost their lives at the Twin Towers, released earlier this year, we now see options of 33 millimeter one ounce Gold or Platinum, and a large five ounce Gold edition that is done in Black Proof. The one ounce Gold and Platinum are limited to 199 pieces each. The five ounce Gold is limited to only 29. One could consider these three recent strikes in highly collectible metals as the elite versions of this year’s Real Heroes issues.
The one ounce Gold and Platinum show the same high relief design as the original Silver with a sophisticated coloring on the face of the firefighter and badge of the helmet to create a stunningly realistic impression. The five ounce Gold is done in Black Proof with the helmet left in the original gold finish to allow for an impressive contrast to the Black Proof surface. This version gives one a sense of a shining angel of mercy emerging from the black ash of their harrowing remains of the disaster.
The two firefighter’s manning the hose on the obverse are also left in the original gold finish on the five ounce gold strike and the twin towers in original form can be seen in the background. Below the firefighters is the inscription ONLY THE BRAVE ARE FREE. A small coin-like version of a typical Cook Islands obverse rests in the exergue. The three ounce Black Proof measures 50 mm in diameter and features a stunning, realistic image of a Firefighter from the New York City Fire Department. The number 343 on the helmet honors the Firefighters that were lost that day in the Twin Towers.
Thanks to the enhanced smartminting® technology the ultra high relief, partly polished honeycomb pattern and extremely detailed elements reaching to and even over the edge of the coin generate an unbelievable design. The visor that protects his eyes from the dangerous smoke and gases is a unique overlay that makes this coin even more special.
The silver 3 ounce can be pre-ordered directly from distributors for right around $400. The platinum one once version is being offered for pre-order at just over $3,000 and the one ounce gold can be pre-ordered for about $5,250. The stunning and extremely limited $500 five ounce gold, Black proof can be pre-ordered at PowerCoin’s website for $20,750 as I write this article.
View these coins at the CIT website at https://www.cit.li/collections/real-heroes/.