The New Zealand Mint issues its first silver coin for the Central American state of Nicaragua

Releasing coins almost exclusively for Niue Island, the New Zealand Mint has increased its output of precious metal commemoratives quite a bit over the last few years. This has primarily taken the form of one of the mints several popular culture franchises, such as Disney, Star Wars or Doctor Who. They’ve always supplemented these with history or nature series like the excellent Warriors of History or Kings of the Continents lines, but 2018 has been starved of such companion series. That’s to change with this issue and for the first time the mint has eschewed Niue Island in favour of the Central American state of Nicaragua.

The Republic of Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American isthmus and home to the second-largest rainforest of the Americas. Full of biological diversity, it’s the perfect choice for a series of nature coins of which the beautiful and powerful Jaguar is the first to be showcased. Each coin is struck to a proof finish in an ounce of fine silver. The reverse face carries an image of the jaguar picked out in full colour against a cleanly struck image of its habitat in the background. The title, denomination and composition are all inscribed on this face.

The obverse carries Nicaragua’s triangular coat-of-arms and is packed with symbolism. The triangle signifies equality, the rainbow signifies peace, the gorro frigio (Phrygian cap) symbolizes liberty and the five volcanoes express the union and brotherhood of all five Central American countries. The date and issuer are inscribed here also.

Packaging has never been lacking at this Auckland-based company and Wildlife of Nicaragua is no exception. A very nice looking solid wooden box with the Nicaraguan emblem upon the lid does the honours, and there’s space inside it for the serialised certificate of authenticity. It’s all wrapped up in a coloured and themed shipper box. Available later today, it will sell for $80.00 USD and has a mintage of 5,000 units.


The jaguar (Panthera onca), is a wild cat species and the only extant member of the genus Panthera native to the Americas. The jaguar’s present range extends from Southwestern United States and Mexico across much of Central America and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina. Though there are single cats now living within the western United States, the species has largely been extirpated from the United States since the early 20th century. It is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List; and its numbers are declining. Threats include loss and fragmentation of habitat.

The jaguar is the largest cat species in the Americas and the third-largest after the tiger and the lion. This spotted cat closely resembles the leopard, but is usually larger and sturdier. It ranges across a variety of forested and open terrains, but its preferred habitat is tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest, swamps and wooded regions. The jaguar enjoys swimming and is largely a solitary, opportunistic, stalk-and-ambush predator at the top of the food chain. As a keystone species it plays an important role in stabilizing ecosystems and regulating prey populations.

While international trade in jaguar or its body parts is prohibited, the cat is still frequently killed, particularly in conflicts with ranchers and farmers in South America. Although reduced, its range remains large. Given its historical distribution, the jaguar has featured prominently in the mythology of numerous indigenous American cultures, including those of the Maya and Aztec. (Source: Wikipedia)

DENOMINATION C$1 Nicaraguan Cordoba
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIAMETER 40.00 mm
BOX / COA Yes / Yes