Official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins
Call: 06 262 7262

2017 New Zealand Annual Coin: Laughing Owl Silver Proof Coin

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The laughing owl, so named for its raucous cry of repetitive shrieks, was a common sight in the South Island in the mid 1800’s. However the laughing owl had no defence against predators, and the introduction of stoats and ferrets from the 1880s is believed to have led to the extinction of this beautiful nocturnal bird.


  • Features the extinct laughing owl in three-dimensional relief
  • Low worldwide mintage of just 1,500 coins
  • Minted from 0.999 silver
  • The only $5 coin to be issued each year
  • Designed by renowned New Zealand artist Dave Burke.


The robust form and detailed feathers of the laughing owl have been cleverly captured in Dave Burke’s design of this 1oz silver proof coin. The korus in the background represent the forests in which the owl dwelled and the domain of Tāne, God of the Forest. The English name for the laughing owl as well as the Māori name whēkau, can be seen clearly printed following the curvature of the coin.

This 1oz silver proof coin minted from 0.999 silver brings the memory of the laughing owl back to life in this stunning representation. This $5 coin portrays a unique piece of New Zealand’s history, a worthwhile addition to any New Zealand collection.

Each coin is accompanied by an individually numbered certificate of authenticity, and displayed in an elegant black leatherette case.

Check out the full range of silver coins here.

Denomination: Five New Zealand dollars
Finish: Proof
Composition: Silver
Weight: 1oz
Diameter: 40mm
Edge treatment: Milled
Obverse design: Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley, United Kingdom
Shape: Round
Reverse design: Laughing Owl - Whēkau
Designed by: Dave Burke, New Zealand
Worldwide mintage limit: 1,500
Mint: Helvetic Mint

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  • 5

    Posted by Kristabelle on 15th Sep 2022

    The photo doesn’t give justice. The actual silver proof coin is beautiful! The proof coin is astounding! Received it today & it was very well packaged.

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