New Zealand Silver Coins
The New Zealand Mint is a private company founded in 1967 and based out of Auckland, the most populous city in the country. The company uses the tagline “Minters of the South Pacific“, because it produces bullion coins for several smaller nations: Tuvalu, Fiji, Niue, and the Cook Islands. The company also designs coins for collectors, though the New Zealand Mint does not produce either bank notes or coins for circulation. For New Zealanders, legal tender is created for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand by the Royal Mint (UK) and the Royal Canadian Mint.
Besides its collectibles, the New Zealand Mint purchases gold from international sources to produce gold coins. The company trades in gold bullion and silver bullion. Finally, the NZM serves as a physical storage provider for gold reserves. During the economic downturn and Global Recession of 2008-2009, the New Zealand Mint saw a significant uptick in business. As banks worldwide faced a cash flow crisis, the NZM was doing a month’s worth of business in one day’s time.
Now that the global economy is in better shape, the mint is back to its traditional business model: minting coins for collectors and investors. It produces commemorative coins, medallions, and bullion for an international market. The mint’s coins are known for their beauty and attention to detail. Below are some of the finest examples of its various series.
Endangered Species Series – A special series from 2013 depicts some of the endangered species. The New Zealand Mint commemorated animal species to raise awareness, but they produced a beautiful set of collectibles. Each has a mintage of 2,000 coins. Examples include the venerable collared lizard, the black rhinoceros, the mountain gorilla, the Bengal tiger, and the pygmy hippopotamus. Each species in the series are depicted on 1-ounce proof coins.
New Zealand Mint “Love is Precious” Series – Since 2009, the Love is Precious series has been a favorite of collectors. One colorized coin is produced each year, with a mintage of 5,000 coins. These coins are legal tender in Niue. Like many of the Commonwealth of Nations mints, these coins feature the famous effigy Queen Elizabeth II designed by Ian Rank-Broadley. The coin series has featured hummingbirds (2016), peafowls (2015), white swans (2014), blue swallows (2013), doves (2011), white swans (2010), and black swans (2009). The 2012 coin appears to have disappeared off the face of the Earth, but that should make it particularly valuable for collectors. Each 1-oz proof coin is made of .999-fine Silver and comes in a heart-shaped red box.
Feng Shui Crane 1 oz. Colored Silver Proof Coin – The 2012 Feng Shun Series is a popular choice with collectors, because it combines a unique design with a small mintage of only 8,000 coins. Feng Shun is a philosophy which focuses on harmonizing a person with their surroundings. The coins in the series have a more visual theme, so they include both real and mythological Chinese animals, like the dragon, the phoenix, horses, elephants, and the koi fish.
Real River Monster Piranha – If you want a more realistic set of animals, you might consider the Real River Monster series from New Zealand Mint. A good example of these coins is the 2013 Niue 1 oz. Silver $2 Piranha coin, which commemorates the flesh-eating red-bellied piranha of the Amazon River in Brazil. Buyers can collect this in a Box set, which comes with a certificate of authenticity.
Gods of Ancient Greece Coin Series – The Gods of Ancient Greece series features vivid depictions of the Olympian gods so famous from great literature like The Iliad and The Odyssey. Gods depicted in this series, which began in 2013, includes Zeus, Athena, Aphrodite, and Poseidon. To the Romans, these would have been Jupiter, Minerva, Venus, and Neptune.
6-Coin Silver 1-Ounce Bullion Set – One series of coins you’ll see associated with the New Zealand Mint often is the 6-coin bullion set, which features four national animals and two national embodiments. The animals are the Somalian elephant, the Chinese panda, the Australian koala, and the Niue Hawksbill turtle. The Niue Hawksbill is a beautiful coin which is shown often when the New Zealand Mint is mentioned. To complete the set of six, you also receive a silver coin depicting Britannia, the personification of the Great Britain, and Libertad, a symbol in Mexico.
Disney Silver Coin Series – The Disney 1-ounce colorized silver coin series includes depictions of Disney favorites, including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, Princess Tiana, Steamboat Willie, Scrooge McDuck, Daisy McDuck, Princess Jasmine, Princess Ariel, Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. There’s even a Crazy in Love coin with Mickey and Minnie.
These are just a few of the options. The New Zealand Mint also has produced series commemorating Birds of Prey, the Great White Shark, the Giant Coconut Crab, the Pacific Swordfish, the Hammerhead Shark, Anne Geddes, the board game Monopoly, the classic BBC science fiction TV show Dr. Who, and Star Wars. The Darth Vader and Millennium Falcon coins are particularly striking. Star Wars is now owned by the Disney Company, so it should be no surprise that colorized Star Wars coins have been minted by the New Zealand Mint.