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Cook Islands Currency


The Cook Islands has, for nearly 60 years, been producing coins and stamps for the numismatic market. 


Over time, with the reducing cash economy, and decline of the postal service, and the advent of other distractions such as cellphones, computers and ipads, interest in collecting coins has greatly diminished.  The Cook Islands now focuses on minting coins which are used:

  • as gifts (this is particularly popular in China);

  • as a form of jewellery (this is particularly popular in Japan);

  • as a means of conveying metal without restrictions sometimes imposed on raw metal (this is how the South African Krugerrand became famous), and

  • to commemorate special occasions.


Consequently, the issues these days are many and small.  While numismatic issues do not provide the revenue for the Government they used to, the industry has produced a steady half a million dollars a year for the last 20 years.

In 2023, the Government of the Cook Islands and CIT Coin Invest AG, headquartered in 9496 Balzers, Liechtenstein, have elevated their long-standing partnership to new heights.  Both partners have formally entered into an agreement that grants CIT Coin Invest AG exclusive global rights for developing, minting, and distributing numismatic coins and banknotes issued by the Cook Islands.  This represents a noteworthy milestone in their nearly two-decade-long collaboration.

Effective February 1st 2023, CIT Coin Invest AG was exclusively appointed by the Minister of Finance of the Government of the Cook Islands to oversee the minting and sale of all numismatic coin and banknote programs, which are recognised as the legal tender of the Cook Islands.

Notably, most Cook Islands coins will continue to be produced at B.H. Mayer Mint in Germany, utilizing the cutting-edge smartminting® technology.  This commitment ensures that the Cook Islands and CIT Coin Invest AG can ensure the premium quality that collectors worldwide rely on.

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Treasury's Role

The Treasury Management Division, Funds Team is responsible for maintaining and suppling Cook Islands circulation coins and notes to all three Banks located in the Cook Islands. Also, to maintain a level of supply in stock.  We also post these to suppliers overseas and to place an order for the currency can be requested by email to or

If you want to get your hands on a note, you can buy the Cook Islands $3 note at any of the three banks in Avarua, Bank of the Cook Islands, ANZ Bank or Bank of the South Pacific. Visitors and Locals can purchase the currency directly from our Treasury office situated in Takuvaine, Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

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Cook Islands $3 note

The South Pacific nation of the Cook Islands issued their new $3 banknote on 3 August 2021. This replaces the previous design which was first issued in 1987.  The $3 is the only note issued by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management, and co-circulates with the New Zealand Dollar.

​The new $3 re-images the iconic image of the legend of Ina and the Shark, the reverse features a Cook Islands carving of Tangaroa (God of the sea).

The legend of Ina and the Shark:

The ocean god Tinirau’s lover, Ina, jumped into the ocean in search of him. When smaller fish couldn’t help her find him, a shark allowed her to ride on his back.

On the journey, she felt thirsty and the shark raised his dorsal fin so that she could crack her first coconut. This she did and satisfied her thirst. Again, she grew thirsty and this time, she cracked the coconut on the shark’s head (depicted on the note).

At once, the shark shook her off and dived and she was only rescued when Tekea the Great, the king of all sharks, rose from the depths, drove off the other sharks, and took her to Tinirau’s island.  However, the blow she gave to her first benefactor raised a bump on the shark’s head and to this day that is called "Ina’s bump.”


​The note is printed on De La Rue’s SAFEGUARD® polymer substrate and incorporate security features including a see-through polymer window, micro text and on the reverse of the note Enhanced GEMINI® is hidden, behind the statue of Tangaroa, revealing the denomination and addition details under UV light.

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