Apart from its regular circulating coinage, Fiji has authorised a number of private mints to issue collector coins in precious metals, which are legal tender in the country but are not intended for general circulation. Many of them are in standard bullion sizes - including one ounce of gold (abbreviated as 1 oz Au, where "Au" comes from the Latin word for gold, Aurum). These are sometimes made using "smartminting" or other innovative techniques and are dedicated to historical or general popular culture themes not related to Fiji itself.
This coin is part of a New Zealand Mint series of bullion coins featuring a Hawksbill Turtle (Taku). The series was issued for Fiji between 2010 and 2013, and for Niue after that.
Hawksbill turtles are found throughout the tropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Named for their narrow, pointed beak, they are also recognisable by a distinctive pattern of overlapping scales on their exquisitely coloured shells. This species prefers coastlines and coral reefs where they can find sponges, a primary food source for these omnivores.
Making incredible migrations to move from feeding sites to tropical beaches that serve as nesting grounds, Hawksbill turtles come to New Zealand every year from Fiji. Although they’ve been sighted as far south as Cook Strait, they are mostly seen in the upper North Island of New Zealand in the clear, shallow waters of the island shelve.
Like many sea turtles, hawksbills are a critically endangered species due mostly to human impact. Hawksbill eggs are still eaten around the world despite the turtle’s international protected status, and they are often killed for their flesh and their stunning shells that are highly valuable in some marketplaces.