New Zealand 5-CENTS (KM34) Tuatara
The Tuatara looks like other lizards, but the two species of Tuatara are the only surviving members of a separate lineage of the order Sephenodontia dating back 200 million years. That is around the time Gondwanaland was separating from Laurasia during the break up of the super-continent Pangaea. In Maori legends, Tautara were regarded as the messengers of Whiro, the god of death and disaster. Today they are regarded as taonga (special treasure). Both species are threatened.
New Zealand switched to decimal coinage in 1967, and this is the first 5-cent coin issued. The last circulation 5-cent coin was minted in 2004, but most of them were melted. In 2005, New Zealand removed 1-, 2-, and 5-cent coins from circulation.
- Diameter: 19.3 mm
- Composition: Copper-Nickel
- CAT#: KM34