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 coins under the authority of Niue. Most of these are commemorative and collector issues dedicated to historical or general popular culture themes not related to Niue itself. Many of them are in standard bullion sizes - typically, one ounce of silver (abbreviated as 1 oz Ag, where "Ag" comes from the Latin word for silver, Argentum). Those issued at prices much higher than their bullion value are separately listed in the Non-Circulating Legal Tender (NCLT) silver ounce section of the site.
Unlike them, this coin is targeted at bullion investors and was initially released at a price close to the value of its precious metal content.
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.