A new nature series has launched today from the New Zealand Mint (NZM). Following a format quite typical of the Antipodean mints, each coin is struck in an ounce of fine silver to a proof standard, and employs selective colouring on the reverse face. The mints down under, the New Zealand Mint and the Perth Mint in particular, have this as the go-to format of choice for their bread and butter releases and they do them well.
The NZM has had aquatic themed coins in their repertoiré for some time, series like the excellent Ocean Predators immediately springing to mind. This new series is called Whales of the Southern Oceans, the theme being quite apparent from the title. The clean struck subject against a coloured blue worked well for them on the aforementioned Ocean Predators range, and does equally sterling service here. Each of the four coins features a different whale – Blue, Fin, Humpback or Sperm whale – and does so against a common background. Each carries the species common name as a large inscription and the series title at the bottom in a smaller font. The composition is also present on this face.
The obverse carries the same effigy as the Niue-issued coins do, despite these being issued for the Pitcairn Islands. The Pitcairns are comprised of four islands and are the last British Overseas Territory in the Pacific. Made famous by the Mutiny on the Bounty escapade back in 1790, the previously uninhabited islands are now home to a huge population of 49 people. That’s right…49. Clearly the NZM won’t be trying to offload the entire 2,000 mintage to the locals then. Only one island is inhabitable and the flora and fauna are protected. In March 2015 the British government established the largest continuous marine reserve in the world around them; a staggering 834,334 sq.km, and put in place monitoring measures to ensure it’s enforced. Top marks.
Packaging is beyond reproach as usual. We’re huge fans of the solid acrylic block display frames that the mint uses for many of its releases, especially the one-ounce silver ones. All is wrapped up in a sturdy and colourful themed shipper, and a Certificate of Authenticity is enclosed. Not a set of coins to stir the soul of course, but one that nature fans will appreciate we’re sure. Each coin will sell for $80.00 USD and ship from the 15th October.