CIT presents: Alcatraz Island
With Alcatraz, CIT presents a coin that takes the depiction of islands to a completely new level. Thanks to an ultra-high relief created with smartminting® technology and accurate color application, it has become possible to recreate a three-dimensional model of the Alcatraz prison island on a silver coin with a weight of three oz. Be it from a bird’s eye view or from the side, the coin depicts the penitentiary complex in all its details and illustrates why the island became a myth. With this issue, CIT and B. H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt demonstrate the ultra-high relief with color application.
Description of the Coin
One side shows a three-dimensional model of the Alcatraz prison island from a bird’s eye view. In the water around it ALCATRAZ ISLAND, at the top 2023.
The other side features the portrait of Elizabeth II, below IRB (= Ian Rank-Broadley), around it the legend ELIZABETH II COOK ISLANDS 20 DOLLARS.
After the seemingly insurmountable prison walls, escapees had to face another obstacle: the cliffs. And that is not even the biggest problem. Although the coast and thus safety is just about 2 kilometers away, a cold and treacherous current around The Rock even impedes the most experienced swimmer from reaching land. When it was opened in 1934, this obstacle was considered impossible to overcome because only a fraction of the population could swim at the time. Rumors about myriads of sharks in the waters around Alcatraz Island further pushed this narrative. Alcatraz was considered the safest prison in the United States for many years.
In 1963, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy had it closed. The reasons were the excessive costs and a paradigm shift in the penal system. Deterrence was replaced by resocialization. Today, Alcatraz is a popular tourist destination off the San Francisco coast.
If you want to experience all three dimensions of this coin, you have to watch the corresponding video: