New Zealand Mint issues Disney-themed gold, silver collector coins struck by Perth Mint

Steamboat Willie gold coin apparently sells out within hours of release
By , Coin World
Published : 04/17/14
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The New Zealand Mint on April 17 launched its first silver and gold coins celebrating Disney characters, and within hours seems to have achieved a sellout for one of the coins.

The Proof quarter-ounce .999 fine gold $25 coin, one of two honoring the early Disney short "Steamboat Willie"(the first appearance of Mickey Mouse), may have sold out its 1,000 mintage limit within hours, as at press time neither the Perth Mint nor the New Zealand Mint had stock available. The Perth Mint listed the coin as “unavailable,” while the New Zealand Mint suggested that the item was “temporarily out of stock.”

Because of the time difference between countries, representatives had not been reached for comment about the sellout.

The Steamboat Willie coins — the program also includes a Proof 1-ounce .999 fine silver $2 coin — are the first in a series that will celebrate such famous characters as Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel from The Little Mermaid, and Pocahontas.

New Zealand Mint, the Auckland-based gold bullion dealer­­ and collectible coin issuer, has a two-year license for the coins across the globe. The Perth Mint is striking the coins for the private New Zealand Mint, and both are offering them to collectors.

"Steamboat Willie" was the first film to feature Mickey Mouse and is regarded as a triumph in the history of animation.

The reverse of both coins features Mickey Mouse at the wheel of his handcrafte­­d ship. The inscription STEAMBOAT WILLIE 1928 completes the design.

In a press release, New Zealand Mint Chief Executive Simon Harding said, “Disney characters are known and loved the world over, so to be able to immortalise them on precious metals is something we expect will generate a lot of interest from fans all over the world.”

Issued as legal tender of the South Pacific island nation of Niue, all coins feature the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, the year-date and the monetary denomination on the obverse.

The gold coin weighs 7.777 grams and measures 20.6 millimeters in diameter.

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