2018 New Zealand Annual Coin: Moa Silver Proof Coin - Silver Coin
2018 New Zealand Annual Coin: Moa Silver Proof Coin - Silver Coin for only GBP £81.76
When Europeans first discovered moa bones in the 1830's, there was quite an uproar in the scientific community. Quickly attracting international interest, the moa became a wonder of the natural history world. But soon the kiwi, the moa’s still-living relative, replaced the moa as the iconic symbol of New Zealand.
Moa are classified as part of the ratite group of birds, along with the emu, ostrich and kiwi. As they evolved in isolation from the rest of the world, and essentially without predators, the name of the living ratite to which they were more closely related has long been debated. For a long time it was thought to be the kiwi, but DNA testing has shown that the moa were most closely related to the small tinamous of South America - a surprising result indeed.
Although moa were once the largest birds to have lived, reaching up to two metres tall, there were in fact nine species of this ratite bird. They ranged in size and adapted to their particular habitats.
The majestic and mighty moa was able to lay claim to being one of the largest known birds, a title it shared with the largest forms of Madagascar’s elephant bird and Australia’s giant mihirung birds. All were around the same height, but these other extinct behemoth birds were thought to have been heavier and bulkier than the moa. Other moa species such as the upland moa and the little bush moa were considerably smaller, around the same size as a turkey.
HighlightsFeatures a stylised image of the extinct moa 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.
These giant herbivores were prevalent across New Zealand’s mainland as well as on offshore islands such Great Barrier and Stewart. On coastal dunes, in swamp lands and dense forests and all the way up to sub-alpine zones around 2,000 metres above sea level, moa browsed on a wide variety of foliage including flowers, trees and berries.
This 1oz silver proof coin minted from 0.999 silver has a stylised image of a moa in one of its more common habitats. It’s thought that multiple species of moa would have shared similar regions and browsing areas. Here the moa is depicted in a southern landscape; snow-capped peaks in the background can be seen as it emerges from dense native bush.
An etching-like technique was used by talented artist Dave Burke to create this unique and highly detailed scene.