The New Zealand Mints different take on the rising popularity of coins featuring ancient gods and deities was to step sideways and feature some of the exotic, fascinating, and sometimes downright weird creatures that occupy the same mythical universe. The first coin looked at the three-headed dog that guarded the entrance to the underworld, Cerberus, which launched relatively late in 2015. This second release in the one-ounce silver coin series depicts another of the weird and wonderful constructs of the ancient mind, the half-man, half-horse Centaur.

Clean-struck and devoid of colour and other embellishments, the coin has classic artwork on its reverse face and, like all NZ Mint coins, the obverse carries the Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. The design looks good, although the official images again aren’t the best (we boosted contrast on them a little to better show the design), and the feedback from the Cerberus coin was very positive, so we’d expect this to look great in the hand. Ancient Greek mythology is a huge, expansive world, so the mint has a rich vein of material to choose from for its next coin. There’s the Cyclops, the Chimera, the Hydra, the Minotaur, Medusa, and the mighty Typhon. That list is just the tip of the iceberg.

The packaging remains different and inventive, a faux suede bag that opens up until it forms a flat disc upon which is printed the Certificate of Authenticity. A pocket in the centre holds the coin and the drawstring can be pulled tight to reform the bag. From the mint once known for experimental packaging, it’s a nice return to their heydey. Available to order from today from the NZ Mint webstore for $80.00, and from their usual wide range of dealers worldwide.


The Centaur were mythical creatures with the upper body of a human and the lower body of a horse. It was said that they inhabited the mountains and plains of Magnesia.

One legend tells that the Centaur were children of the Cloud Nymph Nephele, and King Ixon of the Lapith people. Their offspring were invited to attend the wedding of their half-brother, but upon becoming drunk attempted to carry off the bride and other guests. In the battle that followed, the Centaur were all but wiped out.

One of the most renowned Centaur was Chiron, who was famous for his wisdom, tutoring heroes such as Hercules and Jason. Chiron was wounded with an arrow treated with blood of the monster Hydra, causing hi insufferable pain. This led to him volunteering to be sacrificed in exchange for the freedom of Prometheus, and an end to his own suffering.

The coin design shows the engraved illustration of the mythical half-man, half-horse Centaur, out hunting with a bow. The obverse features the Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

This stunning coin is packaged in a brown, faux-suede soft drawstring bag, styled after ancient Greek money pouches. The coin sits in an especially designed pocket within the money pouch and the Certificate of Authenticity is printed on the inside of the packaging.




$2 NEW ZEALAND 0.999 SILVER 31.1 g 40.00 mm PROOF 2,000 YES / YES