Mickey Mouse to make NZ Mint debut

Last updated 12:45 20/03/2014

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Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto will be among the Disney characters to be commemorated on a series of gold and silver coins to be produced by New Zealand Mint.

The Auckland-based gold-bullion dealer and collectable coin-maker will also be creating coins featuring more-recent Disney Princess characters as part of the series. The first coin will be available in April.

Chief executive Simon Harding said: "New Zealand Mint has produced collectable coins for some big global brands, but this series is particularly significant for us. It's a fantastic opportunity to operate in a huge global market."

Harding, who bought New Zealand Mint in 2012, said 97 per cent of the company's collectable coin production went overseas, mainly to Russia, Eastern Europe, China and the United States.

"Collectable coins appeal to different audiences all over the world," he said.

"In Russia for example, gifting precious coins is a tradition similar to the way we give cards at birthdays."

Harding said the Disney series, which would be produced for two years, was likely to appeal to a wide market.

"Disney characters are known and loved the world over, so to be able to immortalise them on precious metals is something we expect will generate a lot of interest from fans all over the world."

New Zealand Mint has been minting legal-tender commemorative coins, gold bullion and medallions for more than 40 years.

In 2009, the company opened the Bullion Exchange, which offers services for buying and selling gold and silver bullion as well as insured storage.

Last year the company began minting coins to mark the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, in association with BBC Worldwide Australia.

The Disney coins will be struck by Perth Mint on behalf of New Zealand Mint.

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- Fairfax Media

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