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Each country has its own symbols and currency. Symbols such as a medal, a banknote or a coin have two sides – an obverse and a reverse. The obverse usually features an image of the ruler, the coat of arms of the state or another national symbol, while the reverse features an inscription or illustration.

The denomination is not just a number

In order for a coin to be recognized and distinguished from a regular medal, a coin needs a denomination that is provided by the central bank of the particular country. Interestingly, the coin is theoretically a means of payment in the country of the denomination: it is the denomination that gives a coin its value which in turn strictly limits its mintage. This is particularly important because the coin cannot be replicated – i.e. only the number of pieces allowed by the issuing country is minted. The limited quantity is an indicator of the value of the coin which increases over time.

Coins for the global market

In most countries, central banks only issue their own collectible coins and do not sell licenses for obtaining them. It is important to understand that in Europe, only the European Central Bank can use the EUR denomination. However, there are places in the world, such as Fiji, Cameroon and Niue Island (subordinate to New Zealand), whose central banks issue such licenses. The Lithuanian Mint is creating authentic coins for the global market, therefore, we have chosen to cooperate with the central bank of Niue which determines the mandatory use of the details of the central bank of that country on the side of the obverse.

Why the Queen of Great Britain?

Under the Constitution Act of 1974, the rulers of New Zealand are Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Governor-General of New Zealand. This is why the obverse of coins minted at the Lithuanian Mint usually features a portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II. This symbol is well recognized by collectors and general consumers alike and is therefore used more often for collectible coins minted in our mint than we use the Public Seal of Niue.

The numismatic value of the item

Another question we often get is – how do these coins differ from circulation coins? The answer is very simple: they have a high numismatic value due to the design and technological solutions, in other words, the image created. In theory, when a coin has a denomination of, for example, 5 dollars, when you go to Niue, you could use it to buy something for 5 dollars. However, this would be extremely rare, as collectible coins are acquired for their numismatic value and not for their denomination. This is the main difference between numismatic products and ordinary circulation coins which are just a payment facility.

We invite you to take a closer look at the collectible coins of the Lithuanian Mint HERE.

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