There have been many coins over the last few years featuring UNESCO sites, but recently there’s been an increase in those specifically done for the organisation rather than as a coincidence. The two primary ranges are from the Monnaie de Paris with its Banks of the Seine series and from the Royal Canadian Mint with its new nature themed silver series called UNESCO: At Home and Abroad, the former concentrating on detailing a specific site, and the latter looking at pairing two UNESCO sites in two different countries, but on the same coin.
This new coin from the New Zealand Post, not to be confused with the privately owned New Zealand Mint, concentrates on showcasing a single site within their borders, and does so using high-relief, a process pretty alien to this issuer. First to feature is the stunning Giant Gate Falls and Mount Aspiring, both depicted on the coin as part of the clean strike background. Sitting in the centre is a coloured Kea bird, a large parrot almost 50cm in length and the only alpine parrot in the world. An extremely intelligent and curious bird, hunting cut their numbers, but as the bird’s been protected since 1986, it’s recovered and now listed as Vulnerable rather than Endangered. By all accounts the bird is a bit of a hooligan, being omnivorous they eat meat and have been known to attack sheep and even horses.
The coin is nicely presented and looks great. The high-relief style is impossible to see well from the images, but it’s stuck by the Mayer Mint in Germany who have a fine track record, so we’re expecting a great coin. Availabe now to preorder for an August delivery, the coin sells for $135 NZD,
New Zealand’s beloved and cheeky kea appears front and centre in full colour, with Giant Gate Falls and Mount Aspiring featuring in the background in amazing detail. Giant Gate Falls is the largest waterfall in New Zealand and can be found at the end of ‘the finest walk in the world’ – the Milford Track. Mount Aspiring National Park is the third largest national park in New Zealand, while the mountain itself sits at 3,027 metres high, making it the highest peak outside the Aoraki/Mount Cook region.
REVERSE: Te Wahipounamu – South West New Zealand
OBVERSE: Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley, United Kingdom
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