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NZ company makes Hillary Gold

NZ company makes Hillary Gold

A New Zealand company has won the international tender for a coin programme celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Conquest of Everest. New Zealand Mint has been awarded the global contract from the Kingdom of Nepal. This contract grants sole worldwide rights for the minting of the 50th Anniversary commemorative gold and silver coins.

The coins are personally endorsed by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s family, and use an image based on a photograph provided by the Royal Geographic Society, taken of Sir Edmund and Tenzing Norgay before they made their final attempt on the south face.

Sir Edmund, reflecting upon the achievement, said the coin issue “is a double celebration for me, commemorating the day we reached the top of Everest and helping contribute to the continued humanitarian work of the Hillary Trust.” The Nepal Rastra Bank added that the coins ”suitably recognise and celebrate a remarkable contribution to our culture.”

As part of the programme New Zealand Mint has also released a limited edition Sir Edmund Hillary Collectors Piece, featuring Sir Edmund's handwritten signature, his personal account of the last hours before reaching the summit and two 1oz pure silver Nepalese coins. Only 800 will ever be produced.

Unveiled at the 2003 World Money Fair in Switzerland, advance orders have already been received from the UK, Germany, Italy, Russia, Australia, Hong Kong and the United States.

Managing Director of New Zealand Mint, Mr John Bourke, said that the coins are more than a commemoration of the historic event – “they are a permanent reminder of the bond formed between New Zealand and Nepal high on a mountain one morning in 1953”.

The Nepalese contract is the latest in a series of worldwide firsts for the Mint, including minting Fiji’s first ever 99.99% pure gold coin using gold from Fiji’s own mine at Vatukoula, north of Nadi.

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