Raponi Wilson’s work featured NZ’s ‘most valuable’ gold coin

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New Zealand has issued the country’s most valuable legal tender coin – a one-ounce gold piece valued at NZ$2,650.

The coin, which has been issued by New Zealand Post with permission from the country’s reserve bank, is limited to maximum mintage of 500 and is available worldwide, the Voxy news service stated.

Its design features a depiction of a heitiki, an iconic form of Maori art, created by self-taught carver Charles Raponi Wilson, who has created over 1,000 heitikis since the late 1960s.

GoldCoinCRaponi Wilson grew up in Matataa and has been carving for over 20 years. As a self taught artist his favourite carving materials to work with are whalebone and pounamu. Charles often draws inspiration from ancestral taonga and admires the work of many other artists. His speciality being hei tiki, Charles is widely known as one of the most accomplished carvers in Aotearoa.

The coins are housed in a waka hua, or treasure box, by Warren McGrath, master carver to the Maori king.

The coins will be housed in waka huia treasure boxes designed by Warren McGrath, a tohunga whakairo (master carver) to the Maori King.

Garry Nicholas, chief executive of Maori Arts New Zealand, said: “It’s wonderful that Mr Raponi’s art is featured on this special coin.” The obverse of the coin features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadly. New Zealand Post was founded in 1840.

You can check it out on the NZ Post website

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