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Ten Dollar Everest Coins
by The Dominion Post

Commemorative gold and silver coins to mark the 55th anniversary of Sir Ed Hillary's conquest of Mt Everest are to be issued today.

Sir Ed, who died in January, aged 88, and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to reach the summit of the world's highest peak, on May 29, 1953.

New Zealand Post's general manager of stamps and coins, Ivor Masters, said 1953 gold coins would be issued as a tribute to Sir Ed.

They would sell for $575 (discounted to $520 till July 1) and would be legal tender for $10.

Up to 10,000 silver coins would be sold for $89 each. They would be legal tender for $1.

Mr Masters said New Zealand Post had consulted Sir Ed's widow, June.

Some of the funds raised from the coins would go to the Himalayan Trust, which was founded by Sir Ed, but Mr Masters would not say how much.

Rare-coin dealer John Mowbray doubted whether the coins would have much value as investments.

The gold coins had $300 worth of gold in them but would retail for nearly twice that much. "There are better ways of chucking away half your money."

However, he expected the coins would be sought after by collectors.

Wellington coin dealer John Eccles said the 10,000 silver coins were many more than were normally minted and that fact would lower their value.

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