Disney a boost for Niue
The small South Pacific nation of Niue is expected to benefit from NZ Mint's latest release of Disney collectable coins.
The Auckland-based gold-bullion dealer and collectable coin-maker has launched a series of new collectable coins featuring Disney characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Pluto and Goofy.
The coins are a non-circulated legal tender of Niue with a denomination of $2.
However, the ounce (28 grams) of silver used in each coin has a value of US$20 (NZ$24) and a retail price of US$94 .
NZ Mint head of sales and marketing Brent Hindman said the privately owned mint paid Niue a royalty for each coin it sold in exchange for being able to use its effigy, though he would not say what the royalty amounted to.
The island nation's tourism industry also stood to benefit from coins, Hindman said.
Many coin collectors would not know anything about Niue, but the coins had the capacity to pique their interest in the small country, which could have a flow-on effect for its tourism market if they decided to visit.
It was not essential for the coins to be legal tender; anyone could take a piece of metal and print a picture on it to form a medallion, Hindman said.
NZ Mint had the ability to produce a finite number of a coin that was legal tender, which raised the value for collectors, he said.
Mickey Mouse and his chums are the first contemporary-style and full-coloured coins in the Disney Collectible Coin series, which started in April with a retrospective-style Steamboat Willie, followed by a retro-style Donald Duck coin.
The first two tranches of the Disney collectables had sold well in the United States due to the traditional depiction of the characters, Hindman said.
The quarter-ounce gold Steamboat Willie coin was selling for as much as US$750 while the 1000 gold Donald Duck coins sold out in 10 minutes.
Hindman said NZ Mint's biggest markets were the United States, and Eastern and Western Europe.
Eastern Europe, where it was traditional for a person to be given a coin for their birthday as a memento, was a big market for collectable coins, he said.
The latest release of 10,000 of each of the contemporary Disney characters was aimed at the Asian market, Hindman said.
Asia was used to the contemporary depiction of the characters. The release comes ahead of the opening of Shanghai Disneyland next year.
A gold version of the latest series would be available from September 22..
A series of Disney princesses is also planned.