New Zealand Southern Lights Replicated On Holographic Silver Crown Coin

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand have announced (18th January) the issue of a new silver coin that highlights the southern hemisphere’s own natural and astounding light show: the Aurora Australis. The Southern Lights (as many know them) form a spellbinding natural light show that produces shimmering sheets of colourful light that appear to dance across the sky. Most are very familiar with the Northern Lights, which have entertained and amazed those living in the Northern Hemisphere. The natural phenomenon occurs around both the northern and southern polar regions. Auroras occur when gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere collide with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere. Solar winds blow charged particles known as electrons and protons toward Earth, where they are largely deflected by the Earth’s magnetic field. However, that magnetic field is weaker at either pole, allowing some particles to enter the atmosphere and collide with gas particles. Variations in colour are caused by the collisions of varying gas particles. Green auroras are the most common and are produced by oxygen molecules located about 60 miles above the earth. The rarer red auroras are produced by high-altitude oxygen, at heights of up to 200 miles. Nitrogen gases are needed to produce blue or purple aurora lights. These collisions emit light that we perceive as the dancing lights of the auroras, and once seen, they are never forgotten. New Zealand is home to the world’s largest dark-sky reserve, making it the perfect location for star gazing and observing nature’s ultimate light show.

The coin is produced by the Helvetic Mint on behalf of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and is designed by Jonathan Gray of the New Zealand Post. It captures the magic of the Southern Lights in both its colour and its shimmering surface. This silver Proof coin has been produced using a holographic foiling technique in an effort to capture the magical shimmering of the Southern Lights. Part of the design also features the picturesque Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo, where the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is located.

The obverse includes an effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II that is the work of Ian Rank-Broadley and has been used on all New Zealand circulation and many commemorative coins since 2000.






Mintage Limit


.999 silver

31.1 g

40 mm

Proof & holographic foil


Each coin is accompanied by an individually numbered certificate of authenticity, and displayed in an elegant custom case. For more information on this and other coins issued by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, please visit the website of New Zealand Post, official distributors of New Zealand collector coins.


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