As the most recognisable natural symbol of New Zealand, the flightless Kiwi bird is the obvious candidate for a flagship series of coins from the countries national issuer of commemorative currency, the New Zealand Post. For those wondering, the New Zealand Mint is privately owned and is the mint responsible for the licenses to coins issued for numismatic favourite location, Niue, not for New Zealand.
The New Zealand Post’s Kiwi coins have been going for years, since 2004 for the carded specimen versions, and since 1990 (I think) for the proof coins. As a result, it’s new annual iteration is keenly awaited by a large number of collectors. Having just passed our second birthday, we’ve only covered the last couple of releases, the 2014 coin which is the last of the three coin Kiwi Treasures themed series, and the 2015 Glow-In-The-Dark coins which were effectively designed and subsequently quite popular. Although the NZ Post released a really beautiful laser-cut Kiwi Silhouette coin produced by CIT earlier in the year, that was a special and not an annual release in this series.
This years coin hasn’t carried on with the luminescent application we half expected to be the case, but has kept with something out of the ordinary by moving to an oval/egg-shaped strike, and with the subtle application of colour. The latter is very sympathetically done, certainly not overpowering as with many coins today, but whether it’s welcome to collectors of the series or not is another matter. Personally, it’s unobtrusive enough to not jar with others, and does enhance the idea of the coin shape being an egg rather than just oval, quite a thing for the Kiwi which lays the biggest egg in proportion to its body size of any bird on earth. That fact does kind of explain the birds funny walk, we’d all suffer if we had to push an object 20% the size of our bodies through our crutch….!
The coin is available in three versions again, a ¼ oz gold ($845.00 NZD), and a 1 oz silver in both specimen ($79) and proof ($139) finishes. Although the mintage is just a third of the specimen coins and it does come in a good box, the $60 premium for the proof over the specimen version does seem a little excessive to us, but NZ Post coins have never been the cheapest around, unsurprising given they’re minted outside of the country by some fine mints, in this case the outstanding BH Mayer’s Kunstprageanstalt GmbH in Germany. We like the design, depicting a great spotted kiwi against a background of Mount Rolleston in the Southern Alps. Available to order now. Shipping in November.