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2019 New Zealand Annual Coin: North Island Takahe Silver Proof Coin - Silver Coin

Silver Coin
GBP £74.73
Official Price Guaranteed
(item in basket)
Technical details
  • 12.02.2019
  • Dave Burke, Auckland, New Zealand
  • BH Mayer
  • 0.999 Silver
  • 1 Troy Oz
  • 40mm
  • Five New Zealand Dollars
About 2019 New Zealand Annual Coin: North Island Takahe Silver Proof Coin

In 1848, bones of an unrecognised bird were collected by Walter Mantell near the mouth of the Waingongoro River, South Taranaki. A year after the North Island takahē was named, Mantell came across what is now known as the South Island takahē. A few specimens were collected over the next few decades, but the rarely sighted bird was eventually presumed to be extinct.

The South Island takahē was widely accepted to be a direct relative of the mōho, even after its astonishing rediscovery by Dr Geoffrey Orbell in 1948. It was the re-examination of the relationship between the two takahē, by Steve Trewick in 1996, that led to the acceptance of the North Island takahē as a distinct species.

Trewick postulated that the two takahē species and pūkeko were independently derived from a swamphen ancestor, rather than the two takahē being each other’s closest relatives. Although similar in shape to the pūkeko (a distinctive swamphen found throughout New Zealand) the North Island takahē was taller, and approximately triple the size. Fossil records indicate that the North Island takahē once roamed grassland, scrub and forest from the Wairarapa to the Far North.



Low worldwide mintage of 1,500 Designed by renowned NZ artist Dave Burke $5 denomination Minted from 0.999 silver


This stunning 1oz silver proof coin was designed by New Zealand artist Dave Burke. The extinct North Island takahē is imagined here with the plumage of its South Island counterpart. The takahē is encircled by unique koru designs, layered to make the bird’s beak visually protrude from the flat surface.

The coin is also available with vivid colour printing on the takahē, as part of the 2019 New Zealand Proof Currency Set.