Although the name is misleading, the New Zealand Mint is actually a privately-owned company operating in Auckland, and does not serve as the official sovereign mint of the Pacific nation. Like its Australian neighbor the Perth Mint, the New Zealand Mint excels at producing a variety of silver and gold bullion products that investors and collectors clamor for each year.
As mentioned above, the New Zealand Mint is a private company with its headquarters in the capital of Auckland. The mint excels in producing legal tender collectible coins, gold bullion products, and medallions. It was founded over 40 years ago, and today it is the only precious metal mint located in New Zealand. Central to its global status, the New Zealand Mint can boast that it was one of the world’s first mints to adopt .9999 purity as a standard in its gold bullion products.
The mint sources all of its precious metals from international locations, producing coins and medallions using a minimum fineness of .999 for silver and .9999 for gold. The quality and impressive nature of the designs on New Zealand Mint coins puts it among the elite in the world of precious metals, with several coin programs that are coveted by the global community.
Although the mint has a brand name that insinuates it holds status as a sovereign mint, the New Zealand Mint does not print any paper bank notes or circulation coinage for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the national government. All New Zealand Dollar paper notes and coins are produced overseas by either the Royal Mint of London or the Royal Canadian Mint.
Without question, the most popular coin from the New Zealand Mint is the annual New Zealand Hawksbill, or Taku, coin. The hawksbill turtle is a native sea turtle found in parts of the Indian Ocean, southern Atlantic Ocean, and the Pacific. It makes its home along the shores of Fiji, but takes an annual migration to the coast of New Zealand.
A beloved creature in the region, the hawksbill was once a source of food for local island populations throughout the South Pacific. Today, the vast majority of people in the region frown on this practice in an effort to save the hawksbill from extinction. The turtles are identifiable by their pointed, narrow beaks, and the distinctive pattern of overlapping scales on their shells. The shells are especially impressive and notable for their color patterns. Many local indigenous people in Fiji refer to the hawksbill turtle as the Taku, hence the dual name often found on these coins.
The short history of the Hawksbill coin is an interesting one, and quite uncommon in the precious metals industry. The coins were first introduced in 2010 as the Silver Fiji Taku. The coins were struck from 2010 until 2013 as a bullion product issued for the independent island nation of Fiji. The face value was considered legal tender in Fiji, and featured the image of the hawksbill turtle on the reverse.
On the reverse side of each of these coins coin there is a brilliant contrast between the matte, pearl finish of the ocean waters, and the mirror-like finish of the hawksbill’s shell. A small sliver of the coin along the left is also deeply mirrored and features the words “Fiji Taku.”
The obverse side of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 Silver Fiji Taku coins featured the right-profile image of Queen Elizabeth II of England. The nation’s longest-reigning monarch is commonly portrayed on coins throughout the commonwealth, and was a natural selection for the obverse design of the original coins. However, in 2013 the New Zealand Mint opted for a new design on the obverse.
This new design featured the official coat of arms for Fiji, which depicted the cultural roots of the island’s Polynesian people. Engravings on this side were scant, including the year of issue and the nation of issue in addition to the crest.
Beginning in 2014, there was a shift in the production of the Silver Fiji Taku coin. Due to political differences in the region, the Silver Fiji Taku was no longer designed and issued for that nation. It was rebranded as the New Zealand Hawksbill coin and issued for the self-governing island of Niue. The small island, although self-governing, has very close ties with New Zealand.
What makes this move intriguing is the fact that the design was largely unchanged for the reverse image. The hawksbill turtle was used in the exact same design theme, with a slight change to the inscriptions on this face. “Fiji Taku” was no longer engraved in the sliver of deeply-mirrored space on the coin. Instead, the word “Turtle” was engraved there.
On the obverse, the right-profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II returned to the coin. This time, it was the 1998 depiction created by Ian Rank-Broadley. This particular image is immensely popular, and is used on coins from the Royal Mint in London as well as the Perth Mint in Australia. The nation of issue, face value, Her Majesty’s name, and the year of issue are all included on this face.
On certain occasions the New Zealand Mint will now produce the New Zealand Hawksbill coin in heavier weights beyond the standard 1 oz coin. Although the 5 oz weight is the most common larger size, the mint has also created and released 2 oz and 10 oz options, though mintage was restricted.
Starting in 2015, the New Zealand Mint introduced its own Lunar Coin series in both silver and gold bullion. Currently these coins are available in the 2015 Year of the Goat design and a 2016 Year of the Monkey.
The reverse side of the Year of the Goat coin features a group of three goats clashing at the top of a stylistic rocky outcrop. The design features a mirrored finish in the background, with one stretch of mountaintop finished in frosted relief.
Engravings on the reverse include the Chinese symbol for goat in the center, the weight, purity, and metal content along the left, and the phrase “2015 Year of the Goat” below. Each gold lunar series coin features .9999 purity and has a face value of $200, issued for the nation of Niue. On the obverse is Ian Rank-Broadley’s right-profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, along with engravings of her name, the nation of issue, face value, and year of issue.
The latest release is the all-new 2016 1 oz New Zealand Monkey Silver coin. Honoring the Year of the Monkey, this coin features the stunning image of a monkey’s face as it appears to peek around the side of the coin’s surface. Engravings include the phrase “2016 Year of the Monkey” in the center of the deeply-mirrored background, while the characteristics of those born under this sign are listed along the left rim, “Prosperity, Happiness, Intelligence.”
On the obverse face of the coin you’ll find the same image of Queen Elizabeth II featured on the Year of the Goat coin.
Both the silver and gold versions of the Year of the Goat coin feature .999 metal fineness. The silver coin’s face value is set at $2 (Niue), while the gold coin bears a face value of $25 (Niue).
When you invest in New Zealand Mint products from JM Bullion, you’ll find a variety of payment methods available to complete your transaction. We accept Visa and MasterCard credit/debit cards, paper checks, PayPal transfers, and bank wire payments. Most payments process immediately or within one business day, with the exception of paper checks which take four to six business days to process.
JM Bullion proudly offers free standard shipping and insurance on all packages worth more than $199. If you’d like expedited shipping for your goods, that service is available for an extra charge. All products are packaged and shipped in discreet boxes, and delivered by the US Postal Service or UPS.
If you have any questions about JM Bullion products or New Zealand Mint products, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can contact us on the phone at 800-276-6508, connect with us online using our live web chat, or submit your questions to us via email.