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New Zealand Mint Silver (Taku/Turtle Series)

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Silver Taku Series from the New Zealand Mint

The Taku Coin Series, also known as the Silver Niue Hawksbill Turtle silver coin series, was a popular bullion coin series produced by the New Zealand Mint. The series featured the hawksbill turtle, also known as the "taku" in the local Maori language, as its primary design element.

Here are some key details about the Silver Taku coin series:

  • Design and Specifications: The Silver Taku coins were minted in 1 oz of .999 fine silver. The obverse side of the coin featured the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, while the reverse side depicted a detailed image of a hawksbill turtle swimming in the ocean. The design was highly regarded for its intricate detail and realistic portrayal of the turtle.
  • Annual Release: The New Zealand Mint released new editions of the Silver Taku coins each year. The design of the reverse side changed annually, featuring various artistic interpretations of the hawksbill turtle.
  • Legal Tender: The Silver Taku coins were legal tender in Niue, a small island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. However, due to their bullion nature and higher intrinsic value, the coins were primarily sought after by collectors and investors for their silver content rather than for spending as currency. The value of the bullion coins are always determined by the current global silver prices.
  • Limited Mintage: The New Zealand Mint typically produced the Silver Taku coins with limited mintages, adding to their collectible appeal. The limited supply, coupled with the popularity of the series, often led to these coins commanding a premium in the secondary market.
  • Packaging and Certificates: The Silver Taku coins were individually packaged in protective plastic capsules to preserve their condition and prevent scratches. They were often sold in mint-sealed rolls or mint-sealed monster boxes containing multiple coins. Certificates of authenticity were not typically included with these coins.

It's worth noting that the New Zealand Mint has replaced the Silver Taku coin series with a new series called the "Turtles" series, which continues to feature hawksbill turtles but with updated designs. The Silver Taku coins remain highly sought after by collectors due to their aesthetic appeal and limited availability.


History of the New Zealand Mint

The New Zealand Mint is a privately owned mint located in Auckland, New Zealand. Here's an overview of its history:

  • Establishment: The New Zealand Mint was established in 1967 as a subsidiary of the British Royal Mint to help meet the rising demand for circulating coinage in New Zealand and the South Pacific region.
  • Early Operations: Initially, the New Zealand Mint focused on producing New Zealand's decimal circulating coins, including the introduction of the country's first decimal currency in 1967. It also minted coins for other Pacific Island nations under various currency arrangements.
  • Privatization: In 1989, the New Zealand government decided to privatize the mint, and it was purchased by a group of private investors led by Gary McNabb and Simon Harding. This marked a significant shift in the mint's operations, allowing it to expand beyond its original role of producing circulating coinage.
  • Expansion into Bullion and Commemorative Coins: Following privatization, the New Zealand Mint began to diversify its product offerings. It started producing gold and silver bullion coins, targeting collectors and investors worldwide. The mint's reputation grew as it released several popular coin series, including the Silver Taku and the Lunar Series.
  • Partnerships and Licenses: The New Zealand Mint has collaborated with several prominent entities to produce officially licensed coins. It has partnered with franchises such as Star Wars, Disney, Marvel, and DC Comics to create commemorative coins featuring popular characters and themes.
  • Innovative Minting Techniques: The New Zealand Mint has gained recognition for its use of advanced minting techniques. It has incorporated colorization, selective gilding, and other unique features into its coins, enhancing their visual appeal and collectability.
  • Global Reach: Over the years, the New Zealand Mint has expanded its presence in the global coin market. Its products are now available in various countries, and it has established a strong reputation for producing high-quality coins.

Today, the New Zealand Mint continues to produce a wide range of bullion, commemorative, and collectible coins. It remains an important player in the global numismatic community, known for its craftsmanship, innovative designs, and partnerships with renowned brands.

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