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2017 New Zealand Annual Coin - Laughing Owl Silver Proof Coin - Silver Coin

Silver Coin
GBP £74.33
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Technical details
  • 25.01.2017
  • Obverse design: Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley, United Kingdom Coin design: Dave Burke, New Zealand
  • Helvetic Mint
  • Silver
  • 1oz
  • -
  • 40mm
  • Five New Zealand Dollars
About 2017 New Zealand Annual Coin - Laughing Owl Silver Proof Coin

The laughing owl coin is the fourth in the New Zealand Annual Coin series that features extinct species of New Zealand. Around four times the size of its modern day relative the morepork, the laughing owl became extinct around 100 years ago, however it lives on in this specially designed coin.

The laughing owl, so named for its raucous cry of repetitive shrieks, was a common sight in the South Island in the mid 1800’s. These nocturnal predators fed mainly on small frogs, lizards, baby tuatara and larger insects prior to the arrival of humans. Once people arrived on the shores of New Zealand, changes to the landscape and the introduction of new species meant that the rat became the main component of the owls’ diet. However the laughing owl had no defence against predators, and the introduction of stoats and ferrets from the 1880's is believed to have led to its extinction.


- Features the extinct laughing owl in three-dimensional relief
- Low worldwide mintage of just 1,500 coins
- Minted from 0.999 silver
- The only $5 coin to be issued each year
- Designed by renowned New Zealand artist Dave Burke


The robust form and detailed feathers of the laughing owl have been cleverly captured in Dave Burke’s design of this 1oz silver proof coin. The korus in the background represent the forests in which the owl dwelled and the domain of Tāne, God of the Forest. The English name for the laughing owl as well as the Māori name whēkau, can be seen clearly printed following the curvature of the coin.

This 1oz silver proof coin minted from 0.999 silver brings the memory of the laughing owl back to life in this stunning representation. This $5 coin portrays a unique piece of New Zealand’s history, a worthwhile addition to any New Zealand collection.

Each coin is accompanied by an individually numbered certificate of authenticity, and displayed in an elegant black leatherette case.