New Zealand Mint week continues with the second in their new historical series of silver coins called Journeys of Discovery. The first coin in the series was launched just a few months ago back in June, and depicted the epic explorer of Asia, Marco Polo. Fitting in with the new format of choice, that of a 2 oz, high-relief, antique finish silver coin, this range is also firmly bedded in the historical past, although the real rather than the mythical that features on most of the competition.

The subject of this second release is that equally adventurous explorer, Christopher Columbus, and shows the scene he is most remembered for, the 1492 landing on the eastern seaboard of the North American continent. As the mint so accurately states in its own description, there’s plenty of evidence that Europeans like the Vikings, had been to North America centuries before, but Columbus opened up a whole new era in European exploration of the New World, and it’s right that he should be remembered as having done so.

The packaging is excellent, back to the innovative style that the New Zealand Mint was known for before its recent efforts to standardise (although that packaging is also of excellent quality), and comprises a great looking wooden box in a mini sack, ment to echo those used to transport goods around the world for centuries. The coin itself is very traditional in design, not following the stylistic path used by many others, indeed almost looking like a deep relief woodcut sculpture. There’s a good use of perspective and the whole is really well done in our view. A chunky beast, the extra ounce in weight going almost completely towards the coin thickness, we can’t imagine fans of the Marco Polo coin will be disappointed with this. We’ll maybe post some actual images of the first coin later this week so you can get a better look at the coin than the official images show. The 2,000 mintage Columbus coin will sell for £145.00 USD and be available from the 5th October.


Explorer and navigator Christopher Columbus (1451 – 1506) was born in Genoa, Italy. Under the patronage of the Spanish royal family, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean. These efforts established permanent settlements and initiated Spanish colonization of the New World.

Through this, Columbus has been credited as opening up the Americas to European trade. With economic competition between European kingdoms on the rise, Columbus proposed to reach the East Indies by sailing westward. This daring plan was seen as a chance to establish new trade routes with Asia. In August of 1492, after 36 days of sailing, Columbus set foot on an island in the modern day Bahamas, rather than Japan as he had originally intended.

Returning to Spain a year later, Columbus gave a glowing, though somewhat exaggerated report and was warmly received by the Spanish court. Over the course of three more voyages, he visited the Greater and Lesser Antilles, as well as the Caribbean coast of Venezuela and Central America, claiming them for the Spanish Empire.

Though we now believe Columbus was not the first European explorer to reach the Americas, his voyages generated lasting European contact with the New World. This inaugurated a period of European exploration, conquest, trade and colonization that was to last for centuries. In what has become known as the ‘Columbian Exchange’, these expeditions set in motion a widespread transfer on a global scale. Foods from the Americas such as potatoes, tomatoes and corn became staples within Europe, while wheat from Europe became a main food source for people in the Americas.

REVERSE: This relief engraved coin, shows the moment of Christopher Columbus landing on a beach in the New World.

OBVERSE: This features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

PACKAGING: This Christopher Columbus 2 oz Silver Coin is presented in a timber treasure chest with a uniquely numbered certificate of authenticity. This in turn sits within a draw string sack, modelled on those used to transport materials to trade around the globe on great Journeys of Discovery throughout history.




$5 NEW ZEALAND 0.999 SILVER 62.2 g 41.0 mm ANTIQUE 2,000 YES / YES