What's the Relationship Between the Perth Mint, Tuvalu and the Cook Islands?

What’s the Relationship Between the Perth Mint, Tuvalu, and the Cook Islands?


Written by John Rothans

Oct 21, 2020

Meet the two little countries that could: Tuvalu and the Cook Islands. These two small countries make big contributions to the world of circulating and noncirculating coins, but you don’t hear about them very often. Pull out your virtual map, slip a few coins into your pocket, and get ready for your trip to the South Pacific nations of Tuvalu and the Cook Islands.

“Tuvalu, Where Are You?”

Tuvalu (pronounced TOO-vuh-loo), one of the smallest nations in the world, sits about halfway between Australia and Hawaii. Composed of nine small islands, Tuvalu is situated about 730 miles northeast of Fiji and about 965 miles northwest of American Samoa. More than 11,800 people live there.

First visited by Europeans in the early 19th century, Tuvalu, then known as the Ellice Islands, became a British colony in 1916 and broke away from the United Kingdom in 1974 to emerge as its own country. Despite its independence, Tuvalu remains part of the British Commonwealth, so Queen Elizabeth II is the country’s head of state. She is represented by the governor-general, and the prime minister is the head of the government. Tuvalu operates as a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy.

What Are Tuvalu Coins?

One of Tuvalu’s two official currencies is the Australian dollar, as the country has Commonwealth ties to Australia. From 1966 to 1976, the Australian dollar was Tuvalu’s only coin in circulation.

Following its independence, Tuvalu rolled out its own circulating coinage: 1-, 2-, 5-, 10-, 20-, and 50-cent coins, along with a $1 coin. Australia’s Perth Mint makes them. There is no Tuvalu mint.

The coins provide a key source of income for Tuvalu. According to the Perth Mint, the tiny nation now operates “an internationally recognized modern numismatic coin program featuring many remarkable [pieces].”

The Perth Mint manages Tuvalu’s legal-tender precious metals bullion, numismatic coin, and base-metal coin programs. Tuvalu’s coins are crafted using the same standards as the Perth Mint’s Australian coins. Each Tuvalu coin bears the profile of Queen Elizabeth II and a face value expressed in Tuvaluan dollars, abbreviated TVD.

Have you ever seen a Tuvalu legal-tender coin? Check out U.S. Money Reserve’s new Iwo Jima coin series. These 24-karat gold and .9999 pure silver coins are minted by the Perth Mint and issued with a face value that is legal tender in Tuvalu.


Why Buy Tuvalu Coins?

Buying precious metal coins that bear the Tuvalu name is one way to increase your portfolio’s level of diversification. Consider this: You purchase coins from different mints and in different metals. Why not also purchase coins that are respected as legal tender in different countries? Plus, a Tuvalu legal-tender coin remains internationally respected for its precious metals content.

Cook Islands Coordinates

Like Tuvalu, the Cook Islands is located in a remote area of the Pacific Ocean. The nation, made up of 15 widely scattered islands, is more than 2,000 miles northeast of New Zealand and about 830 miles southeast of American Samoa.

Home to more than 17,500 people, the Cook Islands relies on tourism, banking, pearls, marine exports, and fruit exports as its main moneymakers. The country, whose citizens also have citizenship in New Zealand, has been self-governing since 1965. It falls under the constitutional monarchy led by Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

What Are Cook Islands Coins?

Until 1967, the New Zealand pound was the Cook Islands’ currency. That year, the New Zealand dollar became the country’s currency.

In 1972, the Cook Islands introduced its own circulating coinage: 1-, 2-, 5- 10-, 20-, and 50-cent coins, along with a $1 coin. The country’s gold, silver, copper-nickel, palladium, and platinum coins, however, attract more attention than the circulating coins. The country earns revenue from allowing mints to use the Cook Islands name on limited-run precious metals coins. The Perth Mint is among the mints that produce the Cook Islands’ coins; there is no Cook Islands mint.

According to Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS), the Cook Islands’ precious metals coins’ themes include lunar imagery, endangered wildlife, fauna and flora, royalty, movie stars, famous battles, space, and transportation.

The coins also come in an array of shapes, PCGS notes. Some also have inlays of colored enamel, Swarovski crystals, and mother of pearl.

For example, the 7 Summits series issued by the Cook Islands includes the 5 oz. Silver Denali coin with a bird’s-eye view of Alaska’s mighty Denali. The coin exhibits high-relief 3D topography that brings the mountain peaks to life. Few coins feature such unique texturing.

2016 5 oz Denali silver coin in plastic casing with PCGS grade MS70

PCGS reports that most Cook Islands precious metals coins first appeared in the 1990s. Denominations include 50 cents, $1, $2, $2.50, $4, $5, $7.50, $10, $20, $25, $30, $35, $50, $75, $100, $150, $200, $250, and $500. They’re made of gold, silver, copper-nickel, palladium, and platinum and are fully backed by the government of the Cook Islands for their precious metal content and legal-tender face value in Cook Islands dollars, or CID.

Why Buy Cook Islands Coins?

Like Tuvalu coins, Cook Islands coins aren’t what you’d call commonplace, which can make them more sought-after by precious metals owners around the world. Cook Islands coins also offer a variety of denominations so you can expand your portfolio’s diversification to include an assortment of face values.

Trusted and minted by Australia’s official bullion mint, the Perth Mint, legal-tender Tuvalu and Cook Islands coins can be compelling additions to your precious metals portfolio. Call now to buy Tuvalu coins, Cook Island coins, and Perth Mint gold. Exclusive inventory is available over the phone!


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