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An Introduction To Predecimal New Zealand Coins 1933 - 1965

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 Posted 08/10/2020  10:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

This photo shows the average condition a standard 6d is encountered in.

Years Minted, 1933 - 1965
Years not minted - 1949, 1938 (Then again no coins were minted in 1938!)
Composition, to 1946 - 50% silver, 1947 - 1065 Copper Nickel

Rare Years - None but the 1955 Shoulder strap coin is so rare its legendary meaning 1 or 2 may exist!
Scarce Years - 1935, 1941, 1942, 1957 No Shoulder strap
Less common Years - 1939, 1940, 1945, 1950, 1961, 1963

Total number minted - 59,547,364

The sixpence is a very overlooked coin - too small for big coin collectors and too large for the small coin collectors. Less than half as many minted as the 3d and generally less affordable in nice condition than the 3d or even the shilling.

To me the sixpence is a rewarding coin to collect. Even the design brings excitement showing the extinct Huia bird, which had been hunted to extinction by 1907. preserved examples survive in Museums and a year ago a male and female (Females have huge beaks and males thick ones) were stolen from the Dannevirke museum. Huias were prized by Maori for their green glossy feathers and used in making "Korowai
- great cloaks. Chiefs made the birds tapu (Sacred) to commoners and death could come to a commoner wearing huia feathers! Europeans of coursed prized them for their beauty as museum specimens. All spelled a recipe for doom.

Shows you the relative size of a Sixpence next to other coins in this series.

Unlike the 3d, the numbers minted in many years was very low. Many years had under 1 million coins and many 1930s and 1940s years saw as few 400,000 when millions of pennies and 3ds were minted. 1933 and 1934 had moderate numbers of 3 million coins and 1 - 3 million was standard in the 1950s per year. 1965 had the largest number minted with 8.6 million, mainly as they needed the coins to tide them over to decimal day in July 1967.

Unlike the Bronze, they could not use Australian coins as they still had silver and stopped minting 6ds in 1963 there.

The 1955 with a shoulder strap on the Queen was 1 or 2 in existence from 5 proof strikes is the great rarity and not even priced, if the coin turns up figure high 5 figures for it (You could probably swap one for 10 1935 Proof sets with Waitangi Crowns).

Other varieties include the 1965 Broken wing (2 types) and the 1957 sixpence with no shoulder strap (Only scarce, but interesting as every other No shoulder strap coin is 1956.

I can swear it's the same coin - 1957 Strapless

Condition wise - the 6d is by far the coin found in the worst condition, many of the silver ones are found in Good condition to the point the King is a silhouette and the huia is a flat body with a beak! Sixpences saw heavy use and even Cupronickel ones are usually found in VG and barely fine. Later coins go up to VF and 1964/65 coins can be found AU/UNC.

Prices for dates like 1935, 1941 and 1942 can run up into the high hundreds for EF and UNC coins, all dates up to 1950 have prices in the high hundreds for stunning examples. Not until 1960 do prices for UNC drop under $30.

Yet worn coins are plentiful and quite cheap - having upgraded the coins I have from Half crown down I am now half way through the shillings and as I approach the sixpence I dread, as these coins will be expensive. My photos show the standard "Average circulated" 6d next to the other coins.

You can also find many cupronickel 6ds in below average condition right up to 1965, as like the shilling and florin these coins circulated up to 2006. The 6d was the same size, composition and weight as a new 5 cent coin and thus many just statyed in change and hence why if you find a worn 1965 sixpence, there is a good chance it stayed in circulation until the millienium.

I can remember around 1990/91 when I first got into coins I went into shops asking for any old coins in the change and was usually shooed out. Even in 1990 - no one wanted to go through their 5 cent coins looking for sixpences to give to some spotty kid.

Bascially, a rewarding coin to get into if you like to have fun with a challenging coin type to collect.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Edited by Princetane
08/10/2020 11:00 pm
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 Posted 08/11/2020  10:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
One Shilling 1/-

Cupronickel shilling - aEF

Years minted, 1933 - 1965
Years not issued, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1949, 1954
Composition, to 1946 50% Silver, 1947 - 1965 Cupronickel

Rare years - None
Scarce years - 1942 Broken back, 1965 Broken back, 1942, 1953, 1955
Less common years - 1940, 1941, 1944, 1959, 1960, 1961,

Total minted - 30,847,364

Silver shilling 1934 - EF

The shilling is another fascinating coin to collect, with almost no rare varieties or dates. Unlike the 3d and 6d, numbers of these issued were quite low overall with no year with more than 4.5 million and that was 1965. There was significantly less numbers issued than Florins, which along with the Sixpence and Penny, the main anchor coins.

Normal and Broken back shillings

Broken back detail.

Major varieties include the "Broken back" shillings of which 1942 is most well known, but examples of it from 1958 and 1965 are known too. There is also a 1962 shilling with no ground line on the right side of the warrior.

Like the 6d and the Florin, shillings remained in circulation through to 2006 as theyw ere the same size and weight as a new 10 cent piece. I can remember finding many shillings in change as a child and young man (1980s to 2000s) and even a silver shilling in change in 2006! This means many 1960s dates and even including 1965 can be found in Fine or even VG condition, although AU/UNC coins are not hard to find for 1965 and even 1964.

There are no known 1956 no shoulder strap varieties like the other coins (Florins and Halfcrowns were not issued in the mid 1950s). Many dates are scarce with mintings in the low 6 figures and surprisingly 1953 and 1955 are amongst the scarcest dates - on the other hand 1933, 34, 47 and 65 are all very common dates.

Average conditions again range from VG for silver coins and near Fine for pre 1956 cupronickel, F - VF for late 50s and VF for the 60s. Coins up to VF in most dates other than the early 1940s are reasonably priced. My EF coins both cost in the mid 2 figures, Most early coins are mid 3's for UNC and bare 3's (Like $150) for AU - so the shilling is the cheap series to collect.

Of all the Kiwi coins to collect so far, I would recommend the shilling as the best to collect, you can get some quality pieces cheaply and the mintages are low next to all other coins (Except Halfcrowns) and the shilling is a reasonable sized coin.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
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 Posted 08/12/2020  07:20 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Florins - Two Shillings

Roundback - 1933 to 1946

Flatback 1946 to 1965

Years Minted, 1933 - 1965
Years not minted, 1938, 1939, 1952, 1954 to 1960

Extremely Rare - 1936 Florin in UNC condition (cat $10000) most for a coin other than Waitangi crown
1935 Proof Florins (In fact 1935 Proof coin is rare)
Kind of Rare Dates - 1936 (Survival rate in better conditions is very low), 1946 Flatback Florin
Any 1935, 36, Florin in EF/AU
Scarce dates - 1942, 1944, 1953, 1963
Less Common Dates - 1937, 1940, 1945

Very common date - 1965 (9.45 million minted)

Total minted - 39,827,364

Just for you a rare 1936 Florin in VF+ condition, sadly its worth closer to $100 than $10000 - still nice though!

The Florin to me is my favourite coin, it is iconic and like the 6d and penny a real anchor coin, almost twice as many Florins were minted as Halfcrowns and more than Shillings.

The Florin was a nice neat 1/10 of a pound and saw huge usage. These large coins have proven popular with collectors of all types and the series offers something for all grades of collectors from the specialists and investors wanting an Uncirculated 1936 or a Proof 1935 - down to guys like me who want decent VF/EF examples of everything and the everyman collector who wants a few well worn examples for the birds on coins, or exotic Pacific coins collection.
The coin shows the flightless Kiwi bird, a rare survivor of our Createacous era fauna (80 million years ago). Flightless and nocturnal - its our national bird.

I have waxed lyrcial about the qualities of every denomination so far from Halfpenny up to the Shilling, but Florins and Halfcrowns are where I go to town. I have just spent the past year upgrading all my Halfcrowns and Florins and every coin shown is my property now (Although the shots are too good to be mine, the dealers took those).

Quite a large number of Florins were issued in 1933 and 1934 and a decent number in 1935, hwoever just 150k were released in 1936 and being such an old date, these are scarce in even worn condition ($20 for a G - VG example), you can double that every grade up to VF and then times it by 3 as we head to UNC. I think if someone is selling you an UNC 1936, get a certificate as the price drops fast to AU ($3k), EF ($1k) and
VF ($200, although mine cost $125). Apart from 1937 and 1946 Round backs, none of the silver dates are very cheap.

As usual worn silver coins are cheaper, but with silver at the astromical prices it is now, even these 50% coins have around $9 of silver in them! Average coins are VG at best, Fine takes a bit more effort and VF coins as I found are one by one collecting, EF is 1 or 2 in my case.

Of the 1946 coins, about 300k of the 1.2 million are Flatbacks, these are told by the hump of the Kiwi flattened, a wider rim and there are 5 whiskers under the beak (Round back coins have 4). The flatback is used on all 1947 - 1965 coins. Again prices for EF - UNC are 3 figures - expensive but not 1936 territory, Flatbacks UNC are $1500 and 1940 is the 2nd most expensive in UNC at $1800 or so.

A later Cupronickel florin - plentiful and cheap AU/UNC

Cupronickel coins of the 1947 - 1951 are much cheaper being base metal, but again anything over high VF will cost you money, I got my VF pieces cheap - but EF up open that wallet wide. 1947 - 49 are mid hundreds and low hundreds for 50/51. Despite this so many were issued in this era, that apart from a mere 200k issued in 1953 (Plus 7k for proof sets) - no Florins at all were issued until 1961. The average 1947/53 Florin will be gVG to gFine as some did circulate through to 2006 as 20 cent pieces.

1960s coins naturally are cheap and plentiful except 1963 in which just 100k were issued and this is less than 1936, 1942 and 1944, but because its such a late date, 1963s are not that rare and most are worn down to gVF at the very worst. EF for the 61 - 63 coins is realistic

This lot of 1963 Florins and Halfcrowns sold quite high.

1964 and 1965 are very easy and cheap to get, 1965 saw 9.45 million coins minted, which is just phenomenal, no silver coin saw that figure minted in one year (Only 3 penny dates beat it). Yet as the coin circulated as 20 cents after 1967 you can and will find worn 1965 florins. This was mainly as the Halfcrown had been discontinued in early 1965 and thus more Florins were minted to fill the void left by the Half crown. There was also nothing between it and the 10/- note meaning as many as 4 could be given in change at once.

Anyway thats enough here - basically collect NZ Florins, they are great and the hunt for uncirculated 1936's is on.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Edited by Princetane
08/12/2020 07:28 am
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 Posted 08/12/2020  10:12 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Normal and Broken back shillings
That is an interesting variety.
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 Posted 08/13/2020  05:54 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

A stunning nEF 1934 coin for you!

Years Minted - 1933 to 1963 and 1965 set only
Years not minted - 1936, 1938, 1939, 1952, 1954 - 1960, 1964

Rare Years - None, but 1935 Proof is rare and 1935 and 1944 UNC
Scarce Years - 1940 Centennial, 1944, 1961
Less common years - 1935, 1937, 1942, 1945, 1953, 1963

Total Minted 21,808,464

The Half crown is the KING of New Zealand coins and these huge coins were the biggest ones in circulation at the time (Crowns were really one offs that did not circulate at all).

New Zealand was the only Pacific country to issue a Half crown as Australia and Fiji both stopped with the Florin. The coin was introduced first in late 1933 to stop coin smuggling which had arisen in the early 1930s thanks to Pound devaluation here and anyone could take 20/- worth of Halfcrowns to the UK and get paid 25/- for them. This led to NZ having coins introduced of their own in the first place and stopping the trade, which was not only illegal- but also causing a major coinage shortage at a time, where very few could afford or use bank notes and gold coins had disappeared.

1940 Centennial Halfcrown.

The coin was a nice design with a crowned shield surrounded by Maori carvings and a rich overall look. The first two years 1933 and 1934 saw plentiful numbers, but then later silver coins are scarce with 1935 to 1945 all having low mintages under 1 million except for 1943. As Florins dominated - numbers of Halfcrowns were never high with 1950 having the most at 3.6 million.

In 1940 a special Centennial Half crown was issued showing a Maori maiden surrounded by Maori village life on oneside and Art Deco towers on the other (NZ in 1940 had maybe 25 buildings with more than 4 stories, and all of them were built after 1927!) With just 100,800 issued - they quickly disappeared from sight and most survive in VF or better condition.

Numbers of Halfcrowns increased in the Cupronickel era of 1947 - 1951 mainly to weed out the silver coins. So many were made in 1950, that the 1951 coins were stockpiled away and only put into circulation in 1963 so many of them also survive in VF condition. Like the Florin, none were issued in the 1954 - 1960 period and unlike the Florin though, 1960s numbers were much lower.

Another rarity just for you!

The mintage of just 80,000 1961 coins was the lowest for any NZ coin at this time other than the 1935 3d. These coins are fairly hard, but not impossible to find. Even 1962 and 1963 are not that plentiful and 1964 had none at all. The 1965 coin exists in Sets of coins only and was only issued in the sets to the public in late 1966 after it had been withdrawn.

The Halfcrown was withdrawn ahead of all the other coins on May 1st 1965 so that it would not be confused with the new 50 cents coin which was marginally smaller but worth twice as much. 9 million Florins were minted to cover the void.

It's in great condition as it never spent anytime in a till

Condition wise, most Halfcrowns are super worn, many 1930s and 1940s silver coins are worn down to GOOD and VG at best, a Fine coin does not take too much effort and VF is affordable (Average cost for me $30 - $50 a coin). EF is harder and hard to get as at VF the whole obverse is generally sharp and only the monarch shows wear. UNC coins of pre 1962 are hard to get.

Hard to get this cost me $45, had it been Fine it would have been 45 cents - its gEF

The 1947 - 1950 coins are generally VG - Fine and again VF is not too hard, but I paid real money for my EF ones. 1951 is easily found VF but harder above it, due to that 1963 release of them.

1962 and 1963 coins are all at least EF and UNC is very easy and 1965 set coins are usually UNC, but some have been "liberated" from sets and can be found with light wear at AU and even EF - this wear is likely after they were withdrawn though. Such coins will cost $5 - $10 each and that price its better to buy the whole set as everyone wants the penny too.

One major variety and its common - the 1950 Wide date and 1950 Narrow date.

1950 Wide date - earlier type with KG closer to rim as well and near diamond

1950 narrow date with KG further from rim and far diamond

The narrow date is slightly more scarce (1.2 million vs 2,4 million) - but none are rare in any sense of the word.

And there is the Half crown, a fun and easy coin to collect. Just not that cheap.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
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 Posted 08/14/2020  06:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Crowns - Five Shilling Pieces

New Zealand only ever issued 3 crown coins. The first one was incredibly rare and the key piece of any NZ coin collection today, the other two are much more common.

Waitangi Crown - 1935


Year Minted - 1935
Mintage - 1128, 764 Standard finish, 364 Proofs
Original sale price - 7/6, Proof set 25/- in Plush case, 16/9 in standard cardboard case
Metal - 50% Silver Quarternary Alloy like 1933 - 1946 silver coins.
Size and weight - 38.24mm (1.560 inches), 28.28grams
Design - Captain William Hobson shaking hands with Tamati Waka Nene (Maori Chief) at Waitangi with Crown overhead.
Designer - Percy Metcalfe

This coin does not celebrate any particular anniversary but the event of the Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. It was meant to be issued with the other new coins in 1933, but endless delays and debates over designs, meant it was not ready until 1935.

The Crown was issued at a time when most New Zealanders were very poor and struggling, and the original price for them was 7/6 or a 50% mark up. the average weekly wage in 1935 was 30/- and many people were only relief work paying as little as 5/- a week. Needless to say very few sold.

In total 1128 coins were struck, 764 were standard uncriculated and issued for sale at Post Offices and the Reserve Bank, the other 364 were issued as Proofs in Proof sets with the other 1935 coins from Halfcrown down to 3d. Originally the set was only to 6d, as Wellington had thought there were enough 3d coins already as to not warrant a 1935 minting of them, but a group of businessmen wanted a 3d as well to complete the set and decided just 364 proof 3d were needed. However London insisted on a minimum order of 500 worth of 3d coins, and hence why 40,364 were minted that year.

The Proof sets were supplied with cases, 288 in cardboard which came in the first shipment in February 1936 and the plush ones (76) were ordered in a second shipment in March which also bought the 40,000 non proof Threepence coins for circulation.

Needless to say today, the Waitangi crown is near priceless. It is by far the most expensive and rarest predecimal coin outside unique proofs and varieties like a 1955 Sixpence with a shoulder strap and prices for uncirculated Waitangi Crowns reach into 5 figures, only equalling the 1936 Florin (A coin more common in lower grades). Bertrand catalogue 2018 has prices ranging from $7,500 for a VF example to $14k for UNC and Proof coins at a universal $15k. A complete 1935 set is $20k or more.

The coin is seldom found in conditions below high VF and the average non proof set coin is EF/AU as it is inevitable a few generations of sticky and grubby fingers have handled them.

Adding one is not easy, many dealers order them in and only when some rich person dies or liquidates their assets does one come on the market. Dozens of cheap knockoffs, replicas and deliberate fakes mostly of Chinese origin exist.

Needless to say it is the only coin I may never add to my collection and the 1935 3d is the endpoint for many a fine Kiwi collection of this era.

The next post will discuss the more common 1949 and 1953 crowns.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Edited by Princetane
08/14/2020 06:13 am
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 Posted 08/14/2020  06:26 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1949 Royal Visit Crown

My coin - gVF - EF condition

Year minted - 1949, issued November 18th
Number minted - 200,003 - 200,020 (Between 3 and 20 Proofs)
Metal - 50% Silver Alloy
Event for - Proposed Royal Visit of HM King George VI, HM Queen Elizabeth and HRH Princess Margaret Rose (Cancelled)
Size and weight - Same as Waitangi Crown
Design - A silver fern leaf surrounded by the 4 stars of the Southern Cross constellation
Designer - James Berry OBE

Issued at a time of better wealth and optimism, the Royal Tour had been planned in 1948 and in addition to this souvenir coin, a set of stamps and a medal to be presented to school children was proposed. However in early 1949, the royal visit was cancelled due to the poor health of the King.

Despite this the coin was issued and proved popular. Unlike the Waitangi crown, it was sold at Post Offices for the face value of 5/-. They were released on November 18th 1949 and sold out within hours, several thousand were issued to Australia, USA, America and UK mainly to dealers who had pre ordered the coins. A ballot sale of 5000 more happened in Wellington in early 1950 when sales of them in our colonial Pacific islands (Cooks, Tokelau, Western Samoa and Niue) did not do well.

The portrait of the King by Humphrey Paget FRSPS

The design is quite nice if a little simple. James Berry was a prolific New Zealand stamp and coin designer, Berry and the designer of the Halfpenny, Penny and 1940 Half Crown - Leonard Mitchell had a rivalry going and this coin was a victory for Berry - who went on to design the 1967 decimal currency coins and numerous large dollar coins for NZ, Samoa and the Cook Islands.

The other interesting thing about this coin, was it used the silver alloy at a time when the currency had changed to Cupronickel - despite this fact, they never really circulated and most are found in VF - EF condition like my well worn example often going for $20 - $30 (Now the silver in it alone is worth $20, but mostly around $12 or so)

Please note all prices in NEW ZEALAND DOLLARS worth between 60 - 70 cents USD and 50p British.

UNC coins can be found and are not expensive, but as many old NZ coins appear shiny from VF up - its easy for novices to confuse a gVF coin with a UNC one. This is a easy coin to get and really makes a Kiwi collection well.

Much more rare are the Proofs, no one is certain how many were minted, but guesses range from 3 to 20, none are known in private hands - but one can be seen in the Reserve bank Museum in Wellington, New Zealand along with many other rare banknotes and coins.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Edited by Princetane
08/14/2020 06:28 am
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1953 Royal Visit/Coronation Crown

Date - 1953, Issued December 1st
Reason for issue - Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and/or the Royal Visit to New Zealand by HM the Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh - Dec 1953/Jan 1954
Designer - Robert (Maurice) Conly
Size and Weight - 38.4mm and 28.28grams (436 grains)
Metal - Cupronickel - 25% Nickel and 75% Copper, same as 1947 - 1965 coins
Number issued - 257,000 (250k standard and 7k for Proof sets)

The 1953 Crown also came about for the same reason as 1949 to celebrate a Royal Visit and also belatedly celebrate the coronation of the new Queen.

These coins were planned and issued along with a set of stamps (2 for Royal Visit) and a medal for schoolchildren made out of brass with a blue sash (Issued).

Middle set is the Coronation issued June 2 1953 and bottom is the Royal visit pair issued December 1953.

The coins were minted in London and again released through Post Offices here, unlike in 1949 though they did not sell out with about 70% being sold. Several thousand were sold later again after they had been returned from the Pacific. This was a body blow given that the Reserve Bank deliberately minted 50k more to avoid the shortages that occurred with the 1949 crowns.

The design merely had ER under a crown and above a bizarre flat Maori carved face. For some reason between 1900 and 1955, New Zealand stamp and coin designers had an obsession with adding Maori carving into designs (Many 1920s and 1930s stamp issues do it to distraction) and the Half crown also has Maori carving.

In the Maori world, carving, particularly faces usually had a connection to some ancestor or spirit, but in this Pakeha art - it was merely decoration and if anything denigrated rather than promoted Maori art. The design compared to the beauty of Waitangi and the simple elegance of 1949 was overdone and cluttered and had little meaning - just placing symbols on a large space.

2 reasons why they flopped were that the coins were Cupronickel rather than silver, so had no precious metal value and the second was they came in a perspex case and this meant they cost an extra 6d, making it a less attractive purchase.

Same case as the 1953 British crowns came in.

As a result many of these coins have survived AU/UNC and they are very cheap - you can buy a gleaming UNC coin for no more than $5 - $10 and the overall strike quality was poor, often the stars are quite weak and the portrait of the Queen is the early no shoulder strap one. Overall the quality of striking and design left a lot to be desired.

There were also 7,000 Proof examples minted for the 1953 Proof set and these are much nicer and unlike 1935, the 1953 Proof set only costs a hundred or two to get and is quite attractive - sadly many of the cases have corroded.

This was the last crown and next we discuss the 1965 sets - I will also start a similar thread on New Zealand decimal coins.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
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 Posted 08/14/2020  08:56 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The crowns are very interesting. Thank you for sharing their history.
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The 1965 Sets


DATE RELEASED - 16 November 1966!
SET CONTENTS - 1x of each coin from Halfcrown to Halfpenny dated 1965

Mintage Numbers - 200,300 (100k Pink, 75k Green, 25k Blue, 400 Ballot sets)
Reason for release - To commemorate the end of predecimal coinage.

Ballot set

I normally would not bother with sets, but this one was a special occasion. New Zealanders knew in early 1964 that these coins would be replaced by a decimal series based on a dollar worth 10/- made up of 100 cents.
idea t
The government and Reserve Bank came up with an idea to celebrate the end of the coins by issuing proof sets of them in cardboard folders as souvenirs. Originally just 75000 Proof sets were planned - but public demand had surged since the last special crown released in 1953 and people in the mid 1960s were wealtheir and had more disposable income than ever.

Plus they thought that selling official sets may slow down the hoarding of old coins expected (Scrap bronze was to be sold to Australia and Cupronickel to metal extractors - remaining silver was sold to London to be melted down and the proceeds to go towards minting 256 million new coins).

After much toing and froing 3 grades of set were decided upon and these were.

1. Pink set

These were the cheapest grade being basic uncirculated coins that were minted and allowed to drop into buckets so dings and contact marks are common. Despite this, the quality is quite high, given the low mintage numbers (100k). These cost 10/- which was reasonable given 6/4 worth of coins (120d vs 76d)

Halfcrown from a pink set showing a fairly weak strike.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
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The other grades

2. Green set - Selected coins

These coins were slightly better, they were minted the same way as the pink coins, but the strike was better as the dies were changed frequently. Also once minted, the coins were removed from the conveyor belt and did not drop in the buckets - so dings and contact marks are less common. 75k were minted and this set cost double of the pink at 1 per set.

3. Blue Set - Polished Specimen coins

These were struck to a very high quality with the blanks polished and mirror surfaced, the coins were struck twice to ensure a full clean strike and the overall effect is dazzling. However these are Prooflike, not proof as the coins are not cameoed or have the quality of truly proof coins - although some would approach proof status themselves.
Just 25k of these sets were issued and they cost 2 per set, twice as much as the green sets and 4 x as much as the Green set.

Detail of the Blue set Halfcrown and Florin.

There were also 300 Ballot sets issued (Other post shows one) these were standard Blue set coins in a plush case and offered by Ballot at 3 each and more people wanted them than there were sets, hence a ballot to draw the names of the lucky buyer (I have all 3 sets, but not a ballot one yet). I could just get an empty case, get a Blue set and liberate the coins!

Promotion and sales

These sets had been floated in late 1965 and ordered by Mar 1966, the Blue sets sold out instantly and by August 1966 when the sets arrived here, Blue sets went out to the lucky buyers leaving just the Green and Pink sets for sale at Post Offices. Sales were limited to 2 sets per person and this was one of each.

Each set regardless of the grade was packaged in a plastic pliofilm sleeve with 8 airtight pockets, 7 for coins and one containing a card with the colour of the quality (Pink, Green or Blue). The quality of this plastic is stupendous and most Green and Blue sets survive flawless except for usual light tarnishing on the penny and Halfpenny.

Pink sets however seemed to have a lower quality plastic and they often appear cloudy. All 3 grades had a folder with a purple label which was printed here and the sets from London were added to them. This cover explained the details of the coin and also had a history of the coins and an ad promoting the new Decimal coins for 1967

Here you can see the folders.

The sets were put on sale at 9am at Post offices up and down New Zealand in November 1966 and apparently the Green sets sold out at 9.30am and Pink sets by 10.30am. Stories abound of men standing outside offering strangers 2 to go get a set of each and bring them back and they could keep the 10/- change. This worked mostly - but further stories abound of the strangers either keeping the money, buying the sets and leaving with them and claiming they were sold out and they weren't.

The bubble ended quickly and was also fuelled by people wanting a 1965 Penny and Halfcrown which never circulated. Some discarding the rest of the set or onselling them. Because these two coins sat above each other, even now Trade me is full of 5 coin sets with the Penny and Halfcrown missing.

Because many people have died or sold off their coins - the sets are common on the market and generally Pink go for $10 or so, Green $20 and Blue often $30 or more, Ballot sets over $200.

These sets make a worthwhile addition to your collection and are at least a cheap way to get a pair of scarce coins and a complete set of Uncirculated rather VG ones.

I will add varieties and finds to this thread (And you are welcome to) as they come along. I am now starting a thread similar on DECIMAL coins of NEW ZEALAND.

Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
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 Posted 01/26/2021  05:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Just a rehash and a bump, so people reading the How far back can we go thread, can see some more details about the coins we are showing now!
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
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