The latest new coin from the New Zealand Post is now available, and it’s a good one. Featuring the Honey Bee, one of the most important creatures on Earth for humans, it looks primarily at this amazing insects association with honey and the hive.
Struck in fine silver, this one ounce coin is hexagonal in shape, meant to mimic the shape of the honeycomb cell. The main design depicts a bee in flight over a partial background of honeycomb, some cleverly filled with an amber resin meant to replicate the look of honey. It’s an innovative use of an adornment and far superior to just plonking a Swarovski crystal in the middle of the design. It has a point. The use of negative space, a large open area carrying no detail, actually gives the coin an enhanced dimensionality, and also helps keep the inscriptions off the primary design.
Inscriptions on the reverse face constitute the insects name in English and Latin, along with a minimal denomination. Everything else, issuer (New Zealand), date, head of state, are kept to the obverse where they surround the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank Broadley. With the current popularity of rimless designs, it’s good to see a coin that not only has one, but has made it an integral part of the design, in this case the walls of a typical bee cell.
Overall, it’s a clever, attractive coin by artist Hannah Stancliffe-White, well worth a look. Packaging is also very clever, heavily inspired by the honey-filled cell so alluded to in the coin itself. A numbered Certificate of Authenticity is included in the box. At $149.00 NZD ($106 USD/£81/€96) it isn’t a cheapie, but there’s enough here, combined with a 1,500 mintage, to make it a great one for the animal coin collection. Struck by BH Mayer in Germany, it has a good pedigree. Available to order now.