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Super mint: New Zealand Mint brings Superman to Aotearoa

It’s a bird... it’s a plane... it’s... Superman on New Zealand coins! Here's how New Zealand Mint has teamed up with DC Comics to produce limited edition New Zealand coins and miniature figurines.

It’s safe to say Superman has done a lot of weird stuff over the years. For instance, there was that time he decided to rock a mullet. Then there was the time he learned how to shoot mini versions of himself out of his hands. There was also the time he literally ate a nuclear bomb, and the time he disguised himself as Santa Claus to fight the Nazis and kill Hitler. Now there’s another strange thing he can add to his list of oddities: appearing on actual New Zealand coins.

Long story short, to celebrate the fact the first Superman comic was published 80 years ago (in Action Comics #1 in 1938), DC Comics has teamed up with Auckland-based company New Zealand Mint (in partnership with Warner Bros Consumer Products on behalf of DC Entertainment) to release a limited-edition series of silver coins and miniatures.

Designed by 3D master sculptor Alejandro Pereira Ezcurra, with a limited worldwide production of 1,000 casts, the miniature of Superman has a guaranteed minimum 150 grammes of pure silver and is finished with an antique silver polish. The miniature is about 10 centimetres high, and comes with an additional stand which features a metal plate confirming the name, series number, unique production number and New Zealand Mint authentication. It is encased in black velvet inside a Superman 80th Anniversary themed case.

The Silver Coin Note collection comes in an album that includes six five-gramme pure silver coins featuring images of iconic Superman comic book covers. Inside a protective cover, the hardcover album includes a page for each of the six coin notes in the collection. The album is Superman-themed, with every page specifically designed to complement each comic book cover, detailing Superman’s evolution in fighting for truth and justice.

Each silver coin note design is brought to life through a combination of engraving and colour printing. The obverse of the coin notes features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Oh, and they’re actual legal tender in Niue, which could come in handy if you’re pinched for cash on the island. Details of the notes’ authenticity are printed on the reverse of the album’s protective cover. 

Simon Harding, chief executive of New Zealand Mint, is naturally pretty excited about the collaboration to commemorate the Man of Steel. “Empire magazine named him (Superman) the greatest comic book hero of all time, he has sold millions of comics and become a household name. Such is his popularity it is no wonder he is now considered one of the world’s most popular superheroes, and we are thrilled to bring this monumental anniversary collection to fans.”

The collaboration is also the latest of a number of licensing deals New Zealand Mint has signed with well-known entertainment properties around the world. They recently signed a licensing deal with Warner Bros Entertainment to create precious metal collectables for DC Comics, and have been strategically partnering with some of the world’s premier brands. Previously, they’ve released coin collections under licence for global brands including Disney, the BBC (Doctor Who and Sherlock), Hasbro (Transformers, Monopoly, and Magic: The Gathering) ITV (Thunderbirds), Lucasfilm (Star Wars), Kazuki Takahashi (Yu-Gi-Oh!) and Anne Geddes. They will also be creating products this year for Mickey Mouse’s 90th anniversary, Star Trek and Doctor Who. If that’s not enough, New Zealand Mint also won the tender to create collectibles for Expo 2020 Dubai – an event (running from October 2020 to April 2021) which will bring millions of visitors together from around the world.

New Zealand Mint is Aotearoa’s only precious metal mint, minting legal tender collectable coins, gold bullion and medallions for more than four decades. In 2009, New Zealand Mint opened the Bullion Exchange, the first of its kind in New Zealand which offers a comprehensive service for buying and selling gold and silver bullion as well as on-site insured storage. Known for their innovation and approach to design, they won the New Zealand International Business Award in 2016.

In other words: they’re almost as accomplished as reporter Clark Kent is at The Daily Planet. Then again, we all know Clark Kent actually is Superman…

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