|Coin||Gold Half Gram 2023 Czech Lion|
Niue, a sovereign state in free association with New Zealand, uses two official legal tender currencies. The New Zealand Dollar is the circulation currency for daily transactions, while the government also authorises legal tender coins in the Niue Dollar currency for collector's purposes.
A number of mints issue a large variety of commemorative, collector and bullion coins under the authority of Niue. These coins are dedicated to historical or general popular culture themes not related to Niue itself. Some of them are in the mini-coin format of half gram of gold (abbreviated as 0.5 g Au, where "Au" comes from the Latin word for gold, Aurum).
This coin is part of the Czech Lion range of bullion coins issued with a new design every year by the Czech Mint.
The mint says about the series:
The best-known story of how the exotic lion became the symbol of the Czech country is the tale of Bruncvík - a mythical prince who travelled to Africa, where he helped the animal king to fight the dragon, belongs to the most famous stories of how an exotic lion became a symbol of the Czech land. Old chroniclers offer a more plausible explanation. According to them, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa rewarded Prince Vladislaus II with a royal crown and a new heraldic animal, which replaced the previous eagle in 1158.
The lion represented the knight's virtues, strength and courage, which were demonstrated by Vladislaus during the conquest of Milan in the imperial service. And how did the heraldic beast come to its second tail? Heroism played a key role again. King Ottokar I of Bohemia helped Emperor Otto IV. in the fight against the Saxons in 1204, and the Czech lion received a second tail for it, which distinguished it from the beasts of other nations and provided it with a unique prestige. However, medieval writers liked to colour their stories, therefore they are not a reliable source of information. The first verifiable Czech lion was a symbol of the Přemyslid dynasty and appears on the equestrian seal of Vladislaus Henry from 1203. Only Ottokar II, the Iron and Golden King, placed the lion on the coat of arms.
||Mint Mark||Monogram ČM
The obverse of the coin features the (unofficial) "Public Seal of Niue". It has what looks like a plant arrangement at centre, within a double ornamental circle, itself surrounded by a circle of sea shells. This is crowned with St Edward's Crown (a symbol of the United Kingdom, the monarch of which is ultimately the Head of State of Niue).
Around above between the two, the inscription PUBLIC SEAL OF NIUE. Below that, a ribbon carries the motto ATUA NIUE TUKULAGI on two lines, below which two crossed katoua (Niue fighting clubs).
The seal is in the upper part of the obverse. The lower left part is a representation of a "flaming eagle" - the symbol of Moravia and Silesia, two of the three historical Czech lands represented on the Coat of Arms of the Czech Republic.
Diagonally in the lower right part, the face value 5 DOLLARS, below which the date of issue 2023.
Under the eagle and the inscriptions are depicted leaves of linden - the Czech national tree.
Below, the mint mark of the Czech Mint - a crowned monogram of the letters ČM (Česká mincovna).
The reverse of the coin represents a realistic depiction of a lion's face staring sternly at the viewer.
Below, the upper part of the crown of St Wenceslas (Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia between 921 and 935).
Diagonally on the left and right, the inscription ČESKÁ REPUBLIKA (Czech Republic). In smaller letters below that on the right, the precious metal content: 0.5g Au 999.9 (half gram of 99.99% gold; Au is abbreviated from "Aurum", the Latin word for gold).
In the left field (below the S in ČESKÁ), the monogram of the designer, Asamat Baltaev.
Finish: bullion (Brilliant Uncirculated).
Packaging: in themed sheet of 25 units which can be broken down into separate mini blister-card pieces.
Date of issue: January 2023
Issue price: 1,228.40 EUR per sheet of 25.
Coins in the Czech Lion series issued in 2023 include:
- 1 kg Gold, Czech Lion, 2023
- 10 oz Gold, Czech Lion, 2023
- 5 oz Gold, Czech Lion, 2023
- 1 oz Gold, Czech Lion, 2023
- 1/2 oz Gold, Czech Lion, 2023
- 1/4 oz Gold, Czech Lion, 2023
- 1/25 oz Gold, Czech Lion, 2023
- 0.5 g Gold, Czech Lion, 2023
- 1 kg Silver, Czech Lion, 2023
- 10 oz Silver, Czech Lion, 2023
- 5 oz Silver, Czech Lion, 2023
- 2 oz Silver, Czech Lion, 2023
- 1 oz Silver, Czech Lion, 2023