British Lions rugby team is off to New Zealand and the NZ Post marks it with a new silver coin

One of those sports that is hugely popular amongst Commonwealth countries, rugby continues to grow in viewership worldwide. The Rugby World Cup back in 2015 attracted numismatic interest, indeed the Monnaie de Paris effort, the first domed oval strike in numismatics, was one of the hits of that year. The New Zealand Post have a new coin out, and while the event isn’t approaching the heights of a world tournament, the clash of two of the sports giants is always good for interest.

The British & Irish Lions are on a tour of New Zealand comprising ten matches, three against the famed New Zealand All Blacks, the rest against local teams. Taking place from 3 June to 8 July, the British & Irish Lions tour is an eagerly awaited fixture, especially as it occurs just once every four years, having first taken place over a century ago. The British Lions are a composite team selected from players that are eligible to represent the national teams of England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales. The last time the tour went to New Zealand the Lions lost the series 3-0.

The coin is a striking one, depicting a stylised hongi greeting between the two teams. The background is coloured and carries the emblem of the British Lions, an amalgamation of the symbols from the four countries that make up the team. The tour title and denomination are inscribed in a border around the central artwork. The obverse is the same as all New Zealand Post issues, the Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, surrounded by the rest of the required inscriptions.

A colourful design that works well, especially with the matching packaging, making a fine gift for the rugby fan. It’s struck in an ounce of fine silver and the mintage is limited to a tight 1,000 pieces, low for a sporting event coin. It’s available to purchase now and will ship at the end of May, just in time for the tour. Kiwi’s can buy from the NZ Post website and homegrown Lions fans can buy from site sponsor Minted-UK.



Every four years The British & Irish Lions tour the Southern Hemisphere, and in 2017 it’s New Zealand’s turn to host and compete in a series that captivates a nation. The series will begin in Whangarei on 3 June, and over the course of six weeks, ten matches will be played in seven different cities against eight different New Zealand teams.

This 1oz silver proof coin is limited to just 1,000 worldwide and won’t last long. Accompanied by an official certificate of authenticity and packaged in a premium display box, it’s the ultimate collectable of The British & Irish Lions 2017 Tour.

The coin design depicts rugby players from New Zealand and The British & Irish Lions coming together in a hongi. The hongi is a sacred Māori physical embrace where two people become one by pressing noses and foreheads together. The British & Irish Lions badge is a historic and cherished symbol that represents the union of four rival nations. This along with the red colour of the background present a clear connection to the long established team.


COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIAMETER 40.00 mm
MODIFICATIONS Selective colouring
BOX / COA Yes / Yes