WELLINGTON (AFP) – The Pacific nation of Niue has released new coins with images of Disney characters on one side and Queen Elizabeth II on the other – and no, they’re not taking the mickey.
The solid gold and silver coins produced by the New Zealand Mint are legal tender in the tiny Polynesian island, although experts say it is unlikely any will be used as currency as the precious metal they contain is worth far more than their nominal face value.
“It would be the height of financial folly to buy one of these products and then redeem it at face value for a fraction of that value, although I’m sure any Niuean shopkeeper would be anxious to hold onto the coins if you did,” New Zealand Mint chief executive Simon Harding told AFP.
Harding said the target market was the numismatics community, avid coin collectors constantly on the lookout for something different.
He said a 1,000-coin run of one-ounce silver Donald Duck coins recently sold out in seven minutes.
The most expensive coins currently available are made from a quarter ounce of gold and feature a variety of Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Minnie Mouse.
They retail for NZ$799 (US$625) although their denomination in Niue dollars is only $25.