The Cook Islands, a sovereign state in free association with New Zealand, uses two official legal tender currencies. The New Zealand Dollar circulates in parallel with the local Cook Islands Dollar; at the same time, the government also authorises many legal tender coins in the Cook Islands Dollar currency for collector's purposes.
Collector coins are dedicated to historical or general popular culture themes not related to the country itself. Many of them are in standard bullion sizes, but there are also non-standard formats such as the massive fifty grams of copper size used by some mints.
The Mint says about this coin:
The Terracotta Army is regarded as one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century! Discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a well, this enormous group of 8,000 sculptures amazed the world. The excavation uncovered soldiers, horses, and carriages. This incredible army was constructed to accompany the tomb of China's First Emperor - Qin Shihuang (259 - 210BC) as an afterlife guard.
The most impressive feature are rows and rows of thousands of individually detailed soldiers. These soldiers were given unique features that are said to represent some of the actual soldiers of the day. Some of the soldiers are burly in size while others are given stern looks to their faces. Still others are given distinctive armour, hairstyles, and decorative clothing which represent different ranks of the soldiers. The soldiers were moulded in parts, fired in a kiln like pottery, and then assembled and painted. The army laid underground for more than 2,000 years until its discovery and is now considered one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world. The find was praised as the Eighth Wonder of the World and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
The possibilities of the enhanced smartminting enables us to utilise our ultra-high relief technology to bring these soldiers back to life! These stunning proofs show three impressive soldiers on the reverse. Each soldier displays a unique characteristic and the layering of high relief gives them the depth you would experience if you were standing right next to them! The obverse design shows a carriage that serves as one of the vehicles used for the inspection tour of the emperor in his afterlife. CIT has struck four different specifications dedicated to this amazing part of history.