The fourth coin in the New Zealand Mints Forgotten Cities series of proof silver coins has launched and headed for what is probably the most impressive Roman Ruin in the world today, the spa town of Pompeii. The first coin in the series depicted Machu Picchu, followed by the ancient city of Petra, and the ruined city of Angkor in Cambodia. Each were struck in a bas-relief style, and that’s been carried forward to this new release.

Packaging remains the same also, a cool book-style box, hidden within which is the latitude and longitude of the next coin to be released in the series. We don’t have an idea about that one, although we’re sure someone will figure it out sooner rather than later when they get the packaging in hand. Now Europe has put in an appearance, we’re finding it harder to guess the next location, but there are certainly plenty of choices; the old Roman city of Leptis Magna in Libya would be a fine choice, but thematically it would be quite similar to this Pompeii coin, so we’d not expect it to follow soon. Maybe Egypt.  We like this series, much nicer in the hand than the images suggest and something quite different from the norm artistically. The datasheet for the series seems to suggest an $80.00 US selling price, slightly lower than before, but previous coins have all sold from the NZ MInt website for $85.00 US, so it may be a typo. Another fine effort that budding archaeologists will no doubt appreciate.


Pompeii was an ancient Roman city, situated near modern Naples in Italy. The town was founded around the 7th century BC by the Osci people. Centuries of growth followed, as the city became a destination for holiday makers, attracted by the sun and fine coastal scenery. Elegant villas, bustling shops and bathhouses all lined the paved streets.

On 24 August in 79 AD, the nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted. Falling debris and poisonous vapours filled the streets of Pompeii, burying the thriving community under 5 m (16 ft) of ash. 2,000 citizens perished, and what was left of the city was soon abandoned.

Over 1,500 years passed, before an initial discovery in 1599 led to a broader rediscovery in 1748 by the Spanish explorer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre. He was amazed to find that underneath a thick layer of dust and debris, the city of Pompeii had been preserved perfectly, due to a lack of air and moisture.

Today, the excavation of Pompeii continues, as we gain an insight into what life was like during the Roman Empire. The city has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and receives 2.5 million tourists every year.




Fact… ‘The cloud was rising from a mountain-at such a distance we couldn’t tell which, but afterwards learned that it was Vesuvius. I can best describe its shape by likening it to a pine tree. It rose into the sky on a very long “trunk” from which spread some “branches.”’ – Pliny The YoungerSearch for clues of the next Forgotten Cities release hidden through your travel journal.

DESIGN: This proof quality coin captures the air of mystery of the forgotten city of Angkor. Recorded on the coin is the engraved latitude and longitude of this historic location. This features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

PACKAGING: The Forgotten Cities Pompeii 1 oz Silver Coin is packaged in an impressive explorer-themed travel journal coin case, which holds the clue to the next coin release in this series; Find the Longitude and Latitude of the next Forgotten Cities release within the packaging! The Certificate of Authenticity is incorporated within the packaging.




$2 NIUE 0.999 SILVER 31.1 g 40.0 mm PROOF 2,000 YES / YES