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An Introduction To Predecimal New Zealand Coins 1933 - 1965

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United States
112197 Posts
 Posted 01/27/2022  3:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
We got a triple update today!

Interesting to learn that your move from silver was nearly twenty years before we made the change here.
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New Zealand
3827 Posts
 Posted 01/27/2022  7:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes it had to do with the 1943 silver loan from the United States that needed paying back, rising silver prices during and after the War and the fact our coins were minted in the UK.

New Zealand had no mints or large supplies of silver for minting, hence our dependence on the UK. Even our gold pretty much dried up in the 1870s.

Canada, Australia and South Africa minted their own coins, but also had their own supplies of silver. Despite this all reduced their silver amounts (Canada to 80% in 1920, SA to 50% in 1951 and Australia 50% in 1946).

Other countries affected by the UK's debasing were Ireland, Fiji, Jamaica, British Malaya and Borneo, India (Went base in 1946 after being sterling as late as 1942!), Caribbean territories, Ceylon, Seychelles, Mauritius and East Africa (Which only had a 10% billion shilling to start off with).

I would say West Africa, but they went Brass in 1920 due to silver tarnishing badly in hot wet conditions, and the channel islands which only minted low value brass and bronze denominations.
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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New Zealand
3827 Posts
 Posted 01/28/2022  03:47 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1948 - The recoinage continues

Overall 1948 was a fairly non descript year, despite the recoinage, this year saw no bronze coins issued, which was madness given how bad shortages were getting. Fortunately every year since 1948 had at least some bronze issued. The coinage remained cupronickel and thus interest disappeared down the toilet. The war was well over, but life in 1948 was still bleak and austere, yes there was full employment now and commodity prices were rising. However with rationing, people had full pockets, but nothing to spend their money on - stamps became one investment which bombed badly and now late 1940s stamps you can not give away.


My 1948 selection with upgraded coins to VF/EF except Florin and Shilling which are "average".

Coins issued in 1948

2/6, - 1,400,000
2/-, - 1,750,000
1/-, - 1,000,000
6d, - 2,000,000
3d, - 4,000,000
1d and d, - none

Total coins issued - 10,150,000
Face Value - 500,000


The heads of my 1948 Halfcrown - now reading "King George the Sixth"

Why no bronze was issued in 1948 is beyond me, but the other coins saw neat and functional mintage numbers. Basically a half million pounds worth of coins was ordered and it was 175k each of the Halfcrowns and Florins and 50k each of the smaller coins. Of the recoinage years, the overall mintage is fairly low, but again given that these coins are cupronickel, examples in low grades are cheap. My EF halfcrown (Which subsequently really graded gVF) cost me an abhorrent $48, and they catalogue at $80. UNC 1948 Halfcrowns will cost $300, yet a fine one will cost around 80 cents.

Like 1947, 1948 coins were used through to 1967 and then hoarded so 99% of them are Very Good to Very Fine with most being Fine. I put a wee bit more effort into the 3d and 6d along with already mentioned halfcrown, but the 2 lower coins were only a few $ each and are really just shiny high VF examples that err on common rather than rare.

1948 saw some really absurd ideas like reducing the size of the halfcrown and making all remaining silver coins invalid so people would only use the cupronickel ones. Thank God none made it off the debating floor.

Overall 1948 is a boring year with few surprises. 1949 will be better though!

Next 1949 the Crowns strike back.
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
01/28/2022 03:50 am
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Australia
3834 Posts
 Posted 01/28/2022  04:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add triggersmob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Those numbers might seem low, but the population at the end of 1948 was only 1.8M people.
(Not sure about sheep and possum numbers)
View my Coins here, (NOW WITH OVER 16,800 IMAGES).... http://www.coincommunity.org/galler...hp?cat=10048
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 Posted 01/28/2022  09:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
this year saw no bronze coins issued, which was madness given how bad shortages were getting.


Quote:
The heads of my 1948 Halfcrown - now reading "King George the Sixth"
A decent way to fill the space left vacant by the removal of "emperor" as mentioned in the 1947 write-up.

Quote:
Next 1949 the Crowns strike back.
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New Zealand
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 Posted 01/28/2022  1:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Then again in 1948 Australia only had 7.8 million people just as the widespread post war migration began, which saw such an influx that by 1962, they reached 13 million - of course White immigrants only then.

Most of these immigrants could have come to NZ, but chose not to, still we welcomed around 50k Dutch and 100k English migrants between 1947 and 1966. Starting around 1960 Pacific Island migrants arrived in bigger numbers and in 1952 a racist 100 poll tax against the Chinese was dropped which saw a few more of them arrive.

We never bothered counting possums as they were pests (I guess a few million), but sheep numbers hit 55 million in 1957 I know that much and they peaked in 1982 at 70 - 80 million, so 1948 I would guess around 45 million (It was 11 million in 1882 and 30 million in 1902)

Numbers have really dropped away since and it was 40 million in 2009 and guess around 25 - 27 million now, as sheep prices are low and dairy cattle and beef is all the rage. We have more cattle for dairying and meat now (10 million animals).

Sadly along with the Welsh, NZers have the unfortunate sheep stereotypes especially amongst Australians who seem to think we are romantically involved with them!
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
01/28/2022 1:25 pm
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 Posted 01/28/2022  2:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Most of these immigrants could have come to NZ, but chose not to
Their loss, in my humble opinion.
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Australia
3834 Posts
 Posted 01/28/2022  6:32 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add triggersmob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Most of these immigrants could have come to NZ, but chose not to

My family were some of these migrants, although a little later in 1969. Not sure if NZ was even on Mum & Dad's radar back then, but I think Canada was. I am more than happy that they chose Western Australia.
View my Coins here, (NOW WITH OVER 16,800 IMAGES).... http://www.coincommunity.org/galler...hp?cat=10048
OFEC count = 237
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New Zealand
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 Posted 01/29/2022  04:42 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

1949 - The revenge of the Crowns

Whereas 1948 had seen no bronze coins, 1949 saw no 3d, 6d or 1/- issued and only the Bronze and big coins were issued. Another even bigger coin was issued for a Royal Visit that never occurred.


The standard coins of 1949 (All VF except EF Halfcrown)

Numbers of coins issued in 1949

Crowns (5/-), - 200,020
Halfcrowns, - 2,800,000
Florins, - 3,500,000
Pennies, - 2,016,000
Halfpennies, - 1,766,400

Total coins issued in 1949 - 10,282,420
Face Value including Crowns - 762,085 (712,080 without crowns).

Numbers of standard coins in 1949 were not that high and the Bronze coins had very low mintages compared to other years. But the Halfcrowns and Florins saw their largest ever mintages (More than 1934 even). This was mainly to replace those silver coins needed for paying off the silver loan. Jumbo issues of these coins continued into 1950 and 1951.

Another reason being that by 1949, inflation was setting in and pay packets increased presaging the affluent 1950s and 1960s. In 1950 the minimum wage for a family man was set at 5/10- a week, this contrasts with the relief wage of 25/- back in 1933, and it would climb higher reaching 18 by 1964. Wages grew quicker than inflation and real affluence came along. By 1949 most things were off ration and in 1950 Butter and sugar the last two things under ration came off. Whereas in 1933 a Halfcrown was a significant sum of money, by now it was a spoilt childs pocket money!

Despite this, super high grade coins of 1949 are still expensive and my Halfcrown cost $45. Lower grade coins again will cost almost nothing.




The other big event of 1949 was our 2nd Crown coin, this was for a Royal Visit that was proposed in 1949 and would have been the first by a reigning sovereign to NZ. We had been visited by dukes, princes and even kings before they were king (The Duke of Cornwall, later King George V in 1901, Prince Edward in 1920, The Duke and Duchess of York in 1927), however King George's health always precarious failed him and the visit was cancelled in September. But the coins had been planned and paid for in Nov 1948 and they went ahead anyway.

The coin had already been planned and minted, but a stamp issue was canned and destroyed, yet a few got out and are now priceless collectors items. Both stamp and crown were designed by James Berry. The Crown showed a fern leaf which was based on Berry's failed 1940 Penny design. The other great thing about this coin was that it was 50% silver in a time when all the other coins were cupronickel or bronze. The designs were adapted for coinage by Percy metcalfe, neither him or Berry signed the coin with initials.


1949 Crowns galore!

Some 200,000 were minted as standard coins and 20 Proofs, all of which are exceedingly rare and only 1 is known, both are in Museums (Reserve Bank of NZ I think). There is a rumour that these 20 coins could even been fantasies and only the "Standard coins" were minted.

The coins were sent out in Sep 1949 and 135k of them arrived in New Zealand in November. On November 16th 1949, the coins were placed on sale in the Post Offices and limited to one coin per person at just 5/- each, no mark ups and sold loose. They had learned well from the lessons of 1935 (So my 14 examples would get me in deep doo doo back in 1949). The coins sold out in a few hours and became instant collectors items with coin dealers paying 6/- or 7/6 for them straight away. About 50k examples were sold overseas and The Royal Mint handled sales to the UK, Europe and the USA. About 7k coins were sent to Australia and sold for 7/- each. The Americans paid the most at $1.25 a coin, around 9/6 in those days!

In early 1950 an alloted 5,000 coins for sale in Pacific Island colonies of Western Samoa, Cook Islands and Niue were returned (It seemed Islanders were not really interested in silver crowns). This second sale in March 1950 took several days to clean the coins out and rules were relaxed. Some entered circulation but 95% of them survive in VF or better condition. Most are gVF to gEF with light wear, my UNC coin is rare, this one is rarer.



Wow!

The silver value of the coin was way below its facevalue by late 1949 being worth around 1/7 out of a 5/- coin.

Basically it was done well and they reached their level of how popular a thing would sell. It would probably be a bigger hit for 2 reasons - 1. Had the King actually shown up and 2. A better design, the leaf is a bit lame and there is a lot of blank space. Good symbology but wouldn't the HMS Vanguard or the smiling royal family look better. Because of this an average VF/EF coin costs about $30 and even an UNC about twice as much. Melt coins are around $15 - 20 it's silver value according to silver prices.

Next 1950 - Mid century tedium.

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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United Kingdom
10322 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2022  04:56 am  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Princetane! A great introduction to the coins of each year, and the 1940s are especially interesting to me as my parents were both living in NZ at the time and my elder brother was born in Wellington.
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New Zealand
3827 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2022  6:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My pleasure, the early years of New Zealand coins are very interesting. However you will find the 1950s are a bit more dull, yet things perk up in the 1960s!

1949 was one of the last remarkable years, interest drops when the precious metals disappear!
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 01/29/2022  6:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add flag4 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well presented, carry on . .



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3827 Posts
 Posted 01/30/2022  12:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1950 - Mid century dullness

By 1950 the excitement has gone out of the coin series and apart from some fairly low mintages of some coins, there is little that is special going on.


My 1950 set sans the halfcrowns (Bronze VF, 3d and 6d gFine, Florin - aVF and Shilling EF)

Coins issued in 1950

Halfcrowns - 3,600,000 (Approx 1.2 million are far diamond)
Florins - 3,500,000
Shillings - 600,000
Sixpences - 800,000
Threepences - 800,000
Pennies - 5,784,000
Halfpence - 1,425,600

Total coins - 16,509,600
Face Value - 887,700

A very strange year that gave us the highest ever numbers of Halfcrowns and Florins issued so far and the highest for Halfcrowns (a Jumbo mintage of Florins in 1964 and 1965 took place). Pennies were also fairly high at close to 6 million and the most common coin of all. The Halfpence was quite low and numbers of the small "silver" coins were very low, the Threepence being the lowest mintage since 1935. Usually the tiny coin was minted in the millions. More bizarrely these coins were not minted at all in 1949, but from 1951 onwards larger numbers would be minted.

This means that 1950 dated 3d, 6d, 1/- are all very scarce and expensive in EF and higher grades. For the 3d, a UNC 1950 catalogues at $400, the 1948 is $60 and 1951 is $40 by comparison and most coins of this era are the same. A 6d will set you back some $700, whereas other 6d's of nearby years are $70 to $100, except 1951 which is just $15 (More in 1951 why its so cheap). UNC shillings are around $450, but most 1947 - 1955 shillings are very expensive anyway in high grade. Even average 1950 coins of these denominations are twice as costly as the 1947/48 and 1951/52 examples.
Basically 1950 is a collectable year for you 3d and 6d freaks!


Wide and narrow date halfcrowns (VF and AU/gEF)

The other variety is the wide and narrow date halfcrowns. I struggle to see much difference myself and it does not help that neither is particularly scarce, although the Bertrand catalogue lists a narrow date at $6 compared to $3 for wide date (No one in their right mind would pay $3 for an "average" 1950 halfcrown anyway - 50 cents seems more realistic).

Basically your wide date is wider, the diamond is nearer the edge and the KG initials are chunkier and rougher, this is apparently the older type like 1949 and earlier coins. The Narrow date features that and a diamond further from the edge with a smaller and finer KG initials and rim, it looks like 1951 and later halfcrowns. The Narrow date is less common, but no actual numbers exist. My guess is at least 1 million of the 3.6 million minted are narrow dates.


The heads side on a 1950 Halfcrown

The total numbers minted of Halfcrowns from 1947 to 1950 reached 9,400,000 and 11,250,000 Florins meant that the silver ones were pretty much replaced and after 1951 numbers of both coins plummeted. A further 1.2 million halfcrowns and 2 million florins followed in 1951, but these coins got stockpiled. What it means is unlike 3d, 6d and 1/- these coins are quite affordable in VF and even EF compared to the other coins.

A high percentage of coins in many average NZ collection are dated 1950 as well. If Ma and Pa kettle have a jug or bowl full of coins here, there is a high chance in amongst the Britannia pennies and old 5 cent pieces is a 1947, 48, 49 or 1950 halfcrown in average condition. The bronze presents few difficulties although highest grade (AU and UNC) are very hard to find despite modest ($50 or so) prices. Apart from 3d and 6d, any 1950 coin in average F to VF condition will cost peanuts. I am lucky I have an AU Narrow date Halfcrown and a EF shilling. The rest of my 1950 coin set is "average". However starting in 1951 I have more "above average coins".

Pretty much by 1950, the economy was back to normal and we even had an oversupply of coins, particularly the Florins and Halfcrowns, wool prices peaked and rationing ended. If anything, we were printing around 10 - 15 million 1 and 5 or 6 million 10 bob notes each year by this stage - more than coins. But 1951 as you will see was a price crash and a major strike that derailed the boom slightly.

Next 1951 - The end of the Golden weather already?
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
01/30/2022 12:59 pm
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New Zealand
3827 Posts
 Posted 01/31/2022  05:10 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1951 Cracks in the Golden weather!

1951 was an interesting year and would see the end of the huge recoinage of the past 5 years. By this stage some of all coins in use were cupro nickel and the remaining silver was gratis as our debts had been paid. Numbers of Halfcrowns and Florins eased off slightly and good numbers of the smaller silver and bronze coins were issued.
As you will see the 6d and Halfcrown are more affordable this year than others!


1951 set (Pre upgrades of the 3d and 6d). All are VF except the AU halfpenny, UNC Halfcrown and EF Threepence.

Numbers issued in 1951

Halfcrowns - 1,200,000
Florins - 2,000,000
Shillings - 1,200,000
Sixpences - 1,800,000
Threepences - 3,600,000
Pennies - 6,888,000
Halfpence - 2,342,400
Total coins issued - 19,030,400

Face Value - 473,579/3/4 (Yes a weird amount of Halfpence!)



Borderline UNC 1951 Threepence - cost me just $15

Numbers of all the coins were high in 1951 and it was a solid year. However for the Florins and Halfcrowns it ended a 12 year period of non stop issues. Neither of any coin was minted in 1952 and just a small mintage for 1953 being Coronation year. Then there were no more until 1961, so this meant the 1947/50 coins were used for many years. I say that as the 1951 florins went out immediately. But the 1951 Half crowns were placed in the Reserve Bank vaults along with the Sixpences also dated 1951 and left there until 1963! And that is why high grade examples of both are common and cheap.

Whereas 1947/50 Halfcrowns are cheap and found in F/gF - a 1951 coin in VF or almost EF is also very cheap and standard as it only circulated 2 years (Halfcrowns were phased out in 1965). However my AU/UNC coins are still scarce around $80 - $100 each (I have 2), I got them cheap in a collection.


Very high grade 1951 Halfcrown, likely UNC or very darn close

The sixpence is also the other cheapie that was not released until 1963 and for some reason, most are at least VF or gVF, a UNC coin cost me just $10 and its an affordable early cupro nickel piece for most people. Compare the $15 catalogue value of it next to the hundreds for a 1950 one and the $100 for a 1952, 54, 1955 example (53 is a bit cheaper as it was Coronation year).



UNC 1951 Sixpence, again a bad photo does not do it justice.

My halfpenny is also very nice as lustrous halfpennies dated 1951/52 and 53 are quite easy to find as well as 1956 and later. 1954/55 are harder due to very low mintages (200k each). That was in a collection too, but prices for AU/UNC bronze for most years 1951 onwards are only about $20 - $40 and even less for 1960s coins.

Basically finding 1951 coins is very easy and unlike 1950. They are also cheap in higher grades and the Halfcrown and Sixpence offer some great examples cheap.

1951 was prosperity unlimited and we were living high off the sheep's back with mutton and wool prices at an all time high (Although they crashed a bit later). We did have a horrible watersiders strike that lasted 6 months and got very brutal. The right wing government called a snap election and got back in and it was the first time we flexed our muscles against the status quo. The 50s were here and change was in the air!

Next 1952 - Coins take a breather.

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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New Zealand
3827 Posts
 Posted 01/31/2022  05:12 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Just to let you all know, have just brought two more very bizarre and desirable errors for the NZ collection. These will come up in 1955 and 1962 and you will love them!
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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