New Zealand Mint becoming a dominant player in licensed gold and silver collectibles around the world
New Zealand Mint’s novel precious metal products are in hot demand the world over. Known for decades for minting gold and silver bullion, the company has transformed itself – becoming a dominant player in licensed gold and silver collectibles around the world, the majority of which are limited edition coins.
Their first big deal was becoming a worldwide licensing partner in commemorative coins for Disney in 2013. A hero product for the brand, a 1kg Mickey Mouse gold coin, sold for $US47,000 each!
Since then the mint has picked up licensing agreements with other major entertainment brands including Lucasfilms (Star WarsTM), Warner Brothers (DC Comics, HARRY POTTERTM, Lord of the Rings) and CBS Consumer Products (Star Trek). All the while reinventing the global market for one of the world’s oldest hobbies, coin collecting.
Seeing an opportunity to extend the market for precious metal mementoes from just traditional coins, NZ Mint introduced licensed Silver Coin Notes and Silver Foils – pure silver rolled flat, engraved and color printed. This format allowed a larger canvas to showcase more of what the fans love. “It’s a whole new niche product segment for us– creating a new category of licensed products which has a physical attractiveness. We’re leading the charge,” says Simon Harding, Chief Executive of NZ Mint.
Last year alone they produced over 100 products celebrating iconic characters, movies, comics and games that are dear to people’s hearts. Every item produced is intended to be cherished.
The mint has also concentrated on designing innovative, themed packaging to add an extra edge to their offering. For instance, a Tetris-themed box shaped like the arcade cabinet, and housing a Tetris themed coin, is one of Harding’s favourites.
Ninety per cent of New Zealand Mint’s collectibles markets are offshore, mainly the USA, Canada, Europe and China. This was recognised with a win at the New Zealand International Business Awards. “We were classified in the awards as a large exporting business because of our turnover, in the over $60m range. Yet we only have a team of 20 people,” Harding says. “We’d like to think we are smart and nimble.”
The mint continues to search for new markets, recently working in the Middle East after winning the tender to create precious metal collectibles for the World Expo in Dubai in 2020.
“New Zealand Mint’s global licenses, our product innovation, expertise in design and flair for the development of attractive packaging has seen our business continue to go from strength to strength,” Harding says. “We will continue to look for new ways to lead the way in silver and gold collectibles.”
NZ Mint plans to release a further 120 new collectibles in 2020, all of which can be purchased online from NZMINT and delivered worldwide for free, direct from New Zealand. Some of these new products will be showcased for the very first time at the New York Toy Fair in February 2020.