New Zealand issues its annual gold and silver Kiwi bird coins.
A long running annual event, the New Zealand Post release a series of coins featuring that most unique of birds, the Kiwi. So associated with New Zealand that people from the country are called Kiwi’s, it comes as no surprise that the premiere series from the issuer of state commemorative coins should take it as its top theme.
The carded specimen silver versions of this coin started in 2004, with proof Kiwi’s over twice as old, debuting in 1990. Over that period it’s clear the series has picked up a lot of fans, with each release eagerly awaited. There’s been some experimentation with the designs over the last couple of years. The 2015 coins came with a glow-in-the-dark application, and the 2016 coins were egg-shaped. For 2017, we’re back to a standard clean-struck coin, although the same three formats the series has used in the past, remain. Those are one-ounce silver in proof and specimen finishes, and a quarter-ounce proof gold.
The designs are usually excellent, if unadventurous, and that remains the case here. Depicting the Rakiura tokoeka, a species of Kiwi that is active during the day, it shows the bird foraging for food amongst some sparse vegetation. With bordered inscriptions above of the common and latin names, we think its an attractive entrant to the series and the return to an unadorned format is welcome. The beautiful CIT-produced cut-out Kiwi coin remains our favourite, but that was both a pricey affair and a one-off.
Available to buy now, these Richard Payne designed coins sell for $79 NZD (specimen) and $139 NZD (proof), the same as last year. The gold has risen $20 to $865 NZD, however. Well packaged, these coins are struck in Germany by collector favourite BH Mayer. As we’ve said before, the $60 difference between the specimen and proof silver coins seems a little excessive, but there’s no denying the quality of these. A solid entrant in a respected series, they will ship from mid-December, hopefully in time for Christmas.