The government and treasury of Niue have launched (23rd August) the third silver crown coin which is part of the new series focusing on the 1001 Arabian Nights tales made popular with author Richard Francis Burton’s published translations of One Thousand and One Nights. First compiled in 1885 as a work of 10 volumes and known as “The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night,” his addendum Supplemental Nights was published between 1886 and 1888 in six volumes.

The newest coins feature the story of Aladdin, described as a truant child whose father has died, and he lives with his mother in poverty in the Far East. His tale begins on the day he is approached by a magician while playing in the streets. Claiming to be the boy’s uncle, he recruits Aladdin to work with him, insisting he will be able to turn the boy into a wealthy merchant afterwards. Aladdin’s mother also believes the lie and gives her permission for the magician to take her son under his wing. When the magician leads Aladdin to a booby-trapped cave, he instructs Aladdin to acquire an oil lamp from inside, not explaining that the cave’s spells require the magician to receive the lamp from another. He offers the boys one of his magic rings as protection. Duly finding the lamp, Aladdin refuses to hand it over to the magician, but he does this before leaving the cave. In a fit of rage, the magician pushes Aladdin back inside, still holding the lamp. After two days miserable and alone, Aladdin accidentally rubs the ring the magician gave him, and a jinn (more commonly known as a genie) appears. At the boy’s behest, the jinn from the ring asks what Aladdin wishes, and the boy asks to be brought home, with the jinn complying.

Now back home, Aladdin’s mother attempts to clean the lamp that was so coveted by the magician in an effort to sell it. When she rubs it, to their astonishment, an even more powerful jinn appears, who promises them wishes. Their first wish was to have something to eat, and with magic, the jinn of the lamp conjures them a sumptuous feast. Though Aladdin’s mother fears they are associating with demons, Aladdin insists they take advantage of their good fortune.

Aladdin and his mother live in prosperity for years, until one day he takes note of the sultan’s daughter, and decides that he must marry her. Aladdin sends his mother to the sultan’s palace with some jewels conjured by the jinn of the lamp to impress the sultan. Enamoured by the display of wealth, the sultan agrees, though the sultan’s greedy courtier convinces him to wait three months, hoping his own son can win the heart of the princess with an even greater gift during that time.

Over time, but not without significant obstacles, Aladdin marries the princess, and they live in a large palace. However, the jealous magician who believed Aladdin did not survive being trapped in the cave returns to find Aladdin and tricks the princess into giving him the lamp. He orders the jinn of the lamp to take all Aladdin’s possessions and transport his palace to Maghreb. Aladdin uses the magic ring still in his possession to summon back the jinn of the ring. Along with the princess, Aladdin kills the magician and takes back all that was his. Unbeknownst to all, the magician has an evil brother who plots revenge and plans to kill Aladdin. The jinn of the lamp warns Aladdin, who kills the evil brother. Finally, they all live happily ever after, with Aladdin becoming sultan, taking over the throne from his father-in-law.

Hover to zoom.

The coins are produced by the New Zealand Mint at their facilities in Auckland, on behalf of the treasury of Niue. The intricate design on the obverse side of the coins includes a depiction of Aladdin in the cave and the genie appearing out of the lamp. The design is inspired by the chapter of the tale in which Aladdin encounters the magic lamp and the Genie in the cave. The opening of the cave is visible in the background.

The primary design is surrounded by an elaborately detailed border of patterns and a traditional Arabic motif. The reverse includes a newly crowned crest for the government of Niue, which is used mainly for this series. It was created in association with the government of Niue and will alternate on other collector coins as appropriate. Above the seal is the denomination of the coins, TWO DOLLARS, and the year of issue, 2019, which is placed below.



Weight Diameter Quality

Maximum Mintage

Two dollars

.999 Silver

31.1 g 40 mm Antique Proof


In keeping with the Legendary Tales theme, each coin is encased in a storybook-style presentation folder with the encapsulated coin fitting into the back portion. The case itself includes the certificate of authenticity. For additional information about this coin and other coins issued by the treasury of Niue, please visit the website of the New Zealand Mint.

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