|Coin||Gold Half Ounce 2021 Tangaroa - Whale|
New Zealand uses the New Zealand Dollar as its circulation currency for daily transactions. The country also issues a number of commemorative and collector coins, including in the internationally popular gold half-ounce format (abbreviated as 1/2 oz Au, where "Au" comes from the Latin word for gold, Aurum). Authorised by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the official issuer of these coins is NZ Post - which also issues the country's postal stamps. Manufacturing of the coins is commissioned to various foreign mints.
The coins are "Non-Circulating Legal Tender" (NCLT) and not bullion because they are issued at prices much higher than their intrinsic value and are targeted at collectors who appreciate them for their artistic or sentimental value, and not at bullion investors.
This coin is one of two designs illustrating the legend of Tangaroa.
Tangaroa is a deity described in Māori traditions as the kaitiaki (guardian) of all oceans and waters. He is one of the children of Ranginui (the sky father) and Papatūānuku (the earth mother), from whom life originates. Among various accounts throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific, Tangaroa is identified as the father of sea creatures. In some traditions, the sea is thought to be where all life originated. In traditional carvings, Māori ancestors can resemble amphibians - animals that can live on both land and water - with snake-like bodies and large heads.
The obverse of the coin shows the crowned mature head of Queen Elizabeth II facing right (her effigy known as the "Fourth Portrait"). The Queen wears the "Girls of Great Britain and Ireland" diamond tiara, a wedding gift from Queen Mary (Her Majesty's grandmother) in 1947 - which she also has on the Machin and the Gottwald portraits.
In small letters below the head, the artist's initials IRB (for Ian Rank-Broadley).
Around the effigy is the monarch's legend, the date of issue and the value: NEW ZEALAND .9999 Au .5oz ELIZABETH II 2021.
The inscription indicates the precious metal content - ".9999 Au .5oz" means "one half of a troy ounce of 99.99% gold"; Au is abbreviated from Aurum, the Latin word for gold.
The reverse of the coin features a whale in the foreground, and other sea creatures in the background. They represent the many stories, traditions and lineage of Tangaroa, including the tohora or whale. Whales are viewed as the guardians of navigators. According to Māori oral tradition, whales guided canoes to New Zealand, and the ancestor Paikea is said to have arrived riding a whale.
Around above, the face value and denomination TEN DOLLARS, followed by the same in Māori: TEKAU TĀRA.
Around below, the inscription TANGAROA · GUARDIAN OF THE OCEAN.
||TEN DOLLARS · TEKAU TĀRA TANGAROA · GUARDIAN OF THE OCEAN
Issued in a two-coin mint set only.
Coins featuring Māori legends include:
- 5 oz Gold, Taniwha, 2017
- 1 oz Gold, Taniwha, 2017
- 1 oz Silver, Taniwha, 2017
- 1/2 oz Gold, Māui, 2018
- 1/2 oz Silver, Māui, 2018
- 1/2 oz Gold, Māui - The Fish, 2018
- 1/2 oz Silver, Māui - The Fish, 2018
- 1/4 oz Gold, Tangaroa - Guardian of the Ocean, 2021
- 1 oz Silver, Tangaroa - Guardian of the Ocean, 2021
- 1/4 oz Gold, Tangaroa - Whale, 2021
- 1 oz Silver, Tangaroa - Whale, 2021
- 1 oz Gold, Matariki, 2022
- 1 oz Silver, Matariki, 2022
- 1 oz Gold, Rūaumoko - Guardian of Volcanoes, 2023
- 1 oz Silver, Rūaumoko - Guardian of Volcanoes, 2023