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Niue Athenian Owl
Government issued silver bullion coins from Niue

Niue Athenian Owl

In 2017, Niue began producing a bullion coin, the Niue Athenian Owl, similar to bullion coins of other nations such as the American Silver Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf. The Niue Athenian Owl 1 Oz Silver Bullion Coin is inspired by the ‘Tetradrachm’, an Ancient Greek coin with a face value of four drachmae. Struck in honor of Athena, the Greek Tetradrachm coin featured an image of the goddess in its obverse and an owl, the official polis of Athens complete with olive branch and crescent moon, on its reverse. The owl is a symbol of truth and wisdom and, per ancient mythology, sat on Athena’s ‘blind side’ to enable her to see the whole truth.

The coin was in wide circulation between 510 to 38 BC and is the best-known of all ancient coins. Early Owls were struck from Silver from various locations, including Laurium near Athens. The Ancient Greek Tetradrachm contained 17.2 g of silver, while the Niue Athenian Owl Coins contain one Troy ounce (31.103 g) of .999 pure Silver. It is legal tender with a denomination of $2 and the mintage is not released.

These Niue Silver Athena Owl coins are a product of SilverTowne and have several unique design features. First and foremost, the background field on both sides of the coins include a hammered finish that gives the silver coins a unique, ancient appearance. Additionally, the coins all have an outer-rim design on the obverse and reverse face of alternating raised and sunken surfaces. These features of the design interlock making them the first truly "stackable" bullion coins.

Silver Bullion Mintages

Year1 Oz
2017 Unknown
2018 Unknown
2019 Unknown
2020 Unknown

 

Design

Obverse: The obverse of the 1 Oz Niue Silver Athena Owl Coins contains the familiar right-profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. In use on commonwealth coins since her ascension to the throne of England in 1952, Her Majesty's portrait on these coins comes from Ian Rank-Broadley, and was designed in 1998 as the fourth-generation depiction. Surrounding the effigy from lower left in a clockwise direction are the phrases "ELIZABETH II", "NIUE", and "TWO DOLLARS". Inscribed beneath the effigy is the year.

Reverse: The reverse of this 1 Oz silver round features the Athenian Owl, and captures the craftsmanship of the original coin. The reverse also features a crescent moon, an olive branch of peace, and the inscriptions “AOE”, “2017”, and “1 OZ .999 FINE SILVER”. “AOE” stands for “Alethia Orno Eternia,” and translates to “Truth Honor Forever.” The field has an uneven, mirrored finish, inspired by the manufacturing process of the original coin.

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