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Treasures of Oz from Perth, Australia, created the Tokelau Lunar Family series of coins, and ModernCoinMart (MCM) recently had a chance to interview the principles of the company about the series. Read the transcript of this interview here!
ModernCoinMart (MCM) recently interviewed James and Veronica McGuire, key executives with Treasures of Oz, a wholesale company with collectively 45 years’ experience in the coin industry. For those of you not familiar with Treasures of Oz, they develop and supply beautiful coins, including the very popular Tokelau Lunar Family Series of coins, discussed in **this video**. ModernCoinMart (MCM) was the very first distributor for Treasures of Oz and a market maker for the Tokelau Lunar Family Series of coins in the United States market.
What follows are the questions (in bold) posed to James and Veronica, with their corresponding replies:
There are quite a few reasons we believe collectors should be interested in the Tokelau coin series.
For collectors, there is a world of ‘treasures’ embodied in each Tokelau coin, giving them a fascinating story to tell and share with friends and family. The story is often hidden and may take some uncovering - but it is there!
The country of Tokelau itself is a ‘treasure’. Made up of three coral atolls, remotely located in the South Pacific, the local people are maintaining their island traditions and languages despite the risk of rising sea levels which pose a major threat to their survival. While a territory of New Zealand, the people are proudly patriotic and have the right to issue coins as a Sovereign nation. As part of that responsibility, there is a rigorous, three-tier approval process.
First, Tokelau must approve the images and specifications for the coins. Second, as the coins are officially legal tender of New Zealand, the New Zealand Government must sanction each new coin proposal before sending it to the Palace in London for the approval of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whose image appears on the obverse of each coin. This process can take up to 4 months in some cases!
In addition to the Queen’s effigy, the obverse of most Tokelau coins carry one of two national symbols, either a Taluma, a traditional fishing tackle box, or the Nation’s flag. In this way a piece of the Tokelauan heritage is integrated into the design of each coin.
Treasures of Oz has a very talented pool of artists and designers from around the world. The first criterion with any coin design is “is it beautiful”. Beauty is of course very subjective, yet we strive to create pleasing designs, worthy of a second look, and hopefully to bring a smile to the face of those who own them.
When considering themes for coins, Treasures of Oz always looks for themes which have broad appeal. Apart from the extensive “Lunar” series, other themes include “Creatures of Myth and Legend”, “Most Romantic Cities”, “Messages of Love” and “Zodiac” series. With everything from bullion coins to classic proof issues, gilded, antique and coloured coins, there is something to suit every collector’s taste. Treasures of Oz has also introduced a range of innovative shapes, such as heart-shaped, ring shaped and the most recent diamondesque-shaped “Lady of Fortune” coins, which have also been sparking the interest of even the more traditional collectors due to their beauty and high quality.
The Tokelau coins are achieving high grades at grading services and many have completely sold out. The distribution network for the coins is also growing, so more collectors will be able to access them no matter where they are in the world!
The “Lunar Family” series began with the 2013-dated “Year of the Snake”, which included a single 1oz silver Reverse Proof coin and an antique version.
Starting a lunar series in a Snake year is quite challenging as snakes do not appeal to everyone. However, we looked at the character of Snakes and felt the Family aspect would appeal to a much broader audience and so the concept of the “Lunar Family” series was born. The striking snake design, with its hatchlings nestled in the coiled body of the mother snake in a grassy bed was seen as very appealing.
When it came time to develop the designs for the Horse Family, we naturally found that horses, by their very nature and gracefulness, are much more warmly welcomed than snakes! We discussed the program with ModernCoinMart (MCM) and they were particularly struck by the simplicity and beauty of the Horse Family design.
We subsequently appointed ModernCoinMart (MCM) as the exclusive distributor for the Reverse Proof, Classic Proof quality and the gilt versions of the Horse Family within the USA. The design has been very well received all around the world - sales in Eastern and Central Europe are also very strong. Antique and gilded versions were issued and both quickly sold out.
At the suggestion of ModernCoinMart (MCM), who felt there would be a broader market for a traditional bullion coin, we extended the range accordingly and released the bullion coin in January this year.
Two additional coins, released in April, 2014, completed the Horse Family series; a coloured version of the 1oz silver coin and also a 0.5g gold coin.
There is now a substantial collection of Tokelau coins, of which the Lunar Coin Program is a part. And, within the Lunar Coin Program, the 'Family' series has most certainly been the flagship.
The correct term for this would be the “Tokelau Lunar Family Series”, which consists to date of the Snake Family and Horse Family range of coins.
Treasures of Oz came to life in 2008 when Veronica left the Perth Mint with 20 years’ experience in the coin industry and a passion for new product development and international marketing. The business has been growing strongly since then and the signing of a long term contract with Tokelau in 2011 provided the opportunity to create a range of proprietary coins with appeal in more international markets, including the USA. However, we did not have any US distribution at that point in time.
James joined in 2012 and was given the task of developing a distribution network in the US. He struck up a relationship with ModernCoinMart (MCM) at the ANA in Philadelphia that year. ModernCoinMart (MCM) was impressed by the designs of the Treasures of Oz coins. While these coins were different from what ModernCoinMart (MCM) traditionally offered, they decided to take a chance on them and found a ready collector base.
ModernCoinMart (MCM) has become a valued distributor for Treasures of Oz and a market maker for the Tokelau “Lunar Family” coins in the United States market. They share our philosophy of wishing to issue Beautiful coins for Joy and Prosperity and we have found them very professional and a pleasure to work with.
This concludes the interview ModernCoinMart (MCM) had with James and Veronica. We would once again, like to thank them for their time and wish them all the best moving forward.
We trust that you have learned something new today, and are like us, very excited about the prospects of the Tokelau Lunar Family Series of coins. This is a young and upcoming coin series that should be part of every collector’s collection, bullion and otherwise.
ModernCoinMart (MCM) hopes to continue to be a valued distributor for Treasures of Oz. This will only be possible with the continued support of our customers across the globe. Thus, a huge THANK YOU to each and every one of you who are helping to make this possible.
For more information pertaining to the Tokelau Lunar Family Series of coins or any other related products, we encourage you to visit Tokelau Lunar Coins at moderncoinmart.com or call toll-free 1.800.362.9004.
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