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  • Laughing Owl Silver Proof Coin obverse
  • Laughing Owl Silver Proof Coin reverse
  • Laughing Owl Silver Proof Coin packaging

Laughing Owl 2017 1oz $5 Silver Proof Coin

Article Number: 1331620112

  • Three dimensional high-relief
  • Low mintage of just 1,500
  • Silver 999/1000
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incl. 20% VAT
incl. 20% VAT
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The Laughing Owl was a species of owl endemic to New Zealand, particularly its South Island, and earned its peculiar name through its distinctive vocalizations.

However, by the early 20th century the Laughing Owl was unfortunately extinct, with the last confirmed sighting recorded in 1914. The introduction of stoats and feral cats to control the rabbit population in New Zealand is largely believed to be the defining cause of the owl's disappearance. 

In addition to its English name, the bird's Māori name - whēkau - is also included on the coin's obverse,  

The coin's background features a koru (a stylized Māori fern-leaf motif used in carving and tattooing). This represents the owls' forest habitat and the domain of the God of the Forest, Tāne. 

Although the species has disappeared, this silver proof coin commemorates them, and serves as a vital reminder of the importance of conservation.

Mintage: 1,500
Year of Issue: 2017
Country of Issue: New Zealand
Metal: Silver 999/1000
Quality: Proof
Mint: New Zealand Mint
Currency: Dollar
Diameter: 40mm
Weight: 1oz

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