The design of the new Kioea collector coin is an impressive reproduction of every detail of the bird’s appearance, even the smallest. The feathers, the veins of the leaves and the curves of the beak are the result of meticulous and professional work.
The coin depicts the Kioea (Chaetoptila angustipluma), a bird that flew in Hawaii more than 100 years ago. It is a brightly coloured bird sitting on a tree branch in a thicket of leaves. Kioea was a large bird with a long tail and a long curved beak. It was distinguished from other woodpeckers by a broad black stripe on its head. It is likely that the Hawaiians themselves were not very familiar with the bird. It is not mentioned in folklore, kioea’s feathers are not found in folk art, and there are only a few specimens of the bird’s image in museums.
Interestingly, the Hawaiian word ‘kioea’ literally means to stand tall, as if it is looking down proudly from above. The bird’s eye view is also an important feature of the coin. What story does it tell?
The obverse of the coin features a portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Relief gives it a sculptural texture, highlights subtle details and adds sparkle. The coin is produced using digital printing and has antique finish quality.
Do you wonder why HM Queen Elizabeth II or other symbols of Niue are depicted on the coin? Or maybe you want to know why do we mint dollars? Read more HERE.