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Glimmering Export Earnings

Press Release

Glimmering Export Earnings

Auckland, November 1, 2001:

New Zealand’s export earnings are on the increase – due to money leaving the country. Auckland-based New Zealand Mint today issued the first of a series of Asian Wildlife coins, coins that have already earned New Zealand over $1,000,000 sales this year, with the potential to earn similar export earnings over the next few years.

What makes these coins so sought-after is the fact that they are colour – a first for New Zealand. The coins are legal tender, issued under the authority of the Government of The Cook Islands, and feature Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. The .9999 pure gold and .999 fine silver coins have nominal values ranging from $2 to $10, and are expected to retail for between $95 (silver) and $495 (gold).

The first set of five coins in the series feature endangered Asian birds, including the national bird of Taiwan, the Mikado Pheasant, and the critically endangered Chinese Crested Tern – which number less than 100 left in the world. Other birds featured are the Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Indian Pitta and Black-faced Spoonbill.

New Zealand Mint’s Ken Proudfoot admits that the lifelike colour artwork has already drawn worldwide attention, with keen interest shown by a British numismatic magazine. “The new colour technology highlights the vivid colours of the birds and offers a whole new perspective to coin collectors world wide,” he said.

The minting programme is expected to run for up to four years, and will return approximately $1.4m in overseas earnings for New Zealand this year alone. Mr Proudfoot adds the programme “…is an excellent example of adding value to New Zealand’s most valuable non-renewable resource”.

Previous coin issues by the New Zealand Mint include the official Gold Kiwi, the Pacific Millennium series (Fiji, Australia, Cook Islands, New Zealand) and the Gold Tiki - all certified as .9999 pure New Zealand gold.

END

Contact:

Ken Proudfoot

New Zealand Mint

ph: 09 377-6837

fax: 09 377-6836


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