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An Introduction To New Zealand Decimal Coins 1967 - 2020

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 Posted 08/15/2020  9:45 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
As a follow up to the Predecimal coins thread.
To see the story thus far!

There is a lot of information to get through here and I ask for you patience in getting it all out - a week or more just to get the basics.

Unlike Predecimal coins, there is no Reference book on this era yet and most of the detail is here from coin catalogues (Bertrand mostly) and my own collection and notes.

The set of coins from 1c to a special dollar.
I will do a post on these dollars and list their designs.

The way I will approach this thread.

1. I will only discuss coins that circulated, I will not discuss Proof sets, Uncirculated Large Dollars (But will mention them). I will not discuss NCLT coins like annual silver issues, Matariki (Maori themed silver and gold coins), Lord of the Rings and other "Cash in" - just the coined money used by the people everyday.

2. Because of the lack of source material, I can not guarantee 100% gospel truth, if I make mistakes like say years and mintage numbers, they are unintentional.

3. The order will be a general overview of the coins, intro to each denomination, phases of use and royla portraits, then a detailed series of notes on each denomination from 1 cent to $2 dollars.

4. I mention the large size $1 coins issued between 1967 and 1990 occasionally as set pieces, but let me reiterate - These coins DID NOT circulate as regular coinage, but some years so many of them were issued (Like 500k in 1967 and 400k in 1974) you would think that!

Let's start.

The three main phases of use of the Decimal coins.

1. July 10 1967 - 1990

1968 Polished set showing the Phase 1 coins and the only year with no dollar. No standard circulation coins were issued in 1968

This early phase which lasted 23 years used the coins 50c, 20c, 10c, 5c, 2c, and 1c. The 3 top coins were the large versions which are no longer legally tender. The 1c and 2c were bronze and demonitised through 1989. They minted the coins until 1987 for ciruclation and 1988 in sets. The 5c to 50c survived into Phase 2.

Uncirculated grade large dollars that were issued at $5 each or so.

Large dollars were issued as stand alone collectables in this era and these were the size of the old crowns (Marginally smaller). The design changed every year after 1976. They were issued every year to 1990 except 1968. Proof sets started in 1967, but only have silver coins from 1977 onwards (Except 1974). Some years like 1970, 1983 and 1986 saw 2 x $1 large coins issued.

Detail of the Fern Leaf dollar issued 1967, 1971, 1972, 1975 and 1976.

I know I have broken my own rules here, but these dollars were popular and despite their cost above face ($2 each in 1967 to $15 by 1989) they were legal tender, although you would have to be pretty silly desparate to spend one for a Dollar when it cost $5 or more!

Edited by Princetane
08/16/2020 01:02 am
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Phase 2 - 1991 to July 31 2006

A 1991 Souvenir set showing the coins in use in this era.

In this era the 1c and 2c coins were now no longer legal tender due to them being worthless (Inflation had increased 15x betweeen 1967 and 1988). It was also when the small size $1 and $2 coins were introduced. These were dated 1990 but only released officially on February 15th - 17th 1991. The $1 and $2 notes had been made invalid at the same time.

The large size 5c to 50c were also used in this era and thus the 6 coins in use were the 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c in Copper Nickel and the $1 and $2 in Aluminium Brass. Some people actually believed these coins were made out of gold!

The design on the 20 cent coin was also updated as it was decided the Kiwi could only be on one circulating coin, so it left the 20c as it was now on the dollar coin. The new 20c ent coin showed a Maori carving known as Pukaki was issued from 1990 to 2005 (Old style) and 2006 - now (Current).

In 2005 it was decided the 5c was now essentially worthless and the cost of copper and nickel had increased to the point the coins cost more in metal and to make than their worth to 20 cents. Also inflation had rendered the cents coins essentially worthless, so a new system was devised to make the coins smaller and cheaper (Newer and cheaper Chinese made clothes from bargain warehouses could not handle heavy 20 and 50 cent coins well).

In Feb 2006 a new coinage was announced for the cents coins, the 5 cents would be made invalid and the 10c, 20c and 50c would be reissued in smaller and cheaper form. The gold coins would remain unchanged.

Gold $1 and $2 coins from this era are still valid now.

Uncirculated sets lost popularity and now were only issuing around 5 to 20k sets per year. The coins now had the $5 as the top coin and this was the same size and weight as the old large $1 coin

A 1992 Mint set showing a large size $5 commem.

Proofs were also issued with a silver $5 coin and the 2000s saw the rise of what I consider gimmicky overpriced junk like Lord of the Rings, Silver bullion coins sold way over face and all sorts of gee gaws.
Edited by Princetane
08/16/2020 12:58 am
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Phase 3 - Aug 1st 2006 - now

A 2010s Uncirculated set showing a $5 coin and the 5 in use today.

A 2006 "Small change" set which showed the old and new coins.

The new smaller sized 10, 20 and 50c coins were introduced on August 1st 2006 and there was a 2 month toleration on the old coins, which became invalid on October 1 2006. Until Sep 30 2007 the old coins could be redeemed at banks only and after that date only at the Reserve bank in Wellington.

Today we have the 5 coins which include the Bronze plated steel 10 cents, Steel 20c and 50c and the Aluminium Brass $1 and $2 coins. The $5 coins are one off set pieces that cost at least $40 each, legal tender but you would have to be a moron to spend one for $5.

As of 2020, there is no plan to issue a $5 circulation piece and in 2013 Uncirculated sets were ended with only Proof sets issued besides mountains of NCLT and Bullion stuff. All of it is wildly overpriced and gimmicky to the extreme. The only moderate coins are the $5 annual issue which is a bird usually.

We also have periodic issues for movies, royal events and Matariki (Maori new year - basically Kiwi Kwanza). Many gold and silver ounce coins are sold 3 or 4 x over bullion value and these coins have no resale values.

Our standard coins generally have little value as even basic things like bottles of milk, papers and snack food cost at least a few dollars now, in 1967 Milk and papers cost 4 cents each, a 50 cent coin was a fortune, now you find them on the side of the road.

Next we meet the various heads of the Queen on circulation coins!
Edited by Princetane
08/16/2020 12:59 am
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The portraits on the series 1967 - 2019

3 types, Machin, Maklouf, Broadley

The 53 year period has had just the one ruler - Queen Elizabeth II - she was 41 in 1967 and now is 94!. There have been 3 major portraits in this era but with some varieties.

1. Arnold Machin 1967 - 1985

A 1967 Set showing the early Machin portrait.

This effigy was designed in 1963 and first appears on 1963 British decimal patterns, it was first used on 1964 Rhodesian coins and in 1965 for Canada and 1966 for Australia. New Zealand used this portrait for their new coins, the old Mary Gillick Portrait was retired in 1965.

The early phase featured a thicker rim and this wore down quickly. This is found on coins dated bewteen 1967 and 1977.

Mid Machins - 1978 - 1983 coins

Around 1978 a newer version with a thinner and higher rim and more rounded letters came out. This is used on the circulation pieces minted mostly at Tower mint and the Royal Canadian Mint. This type was also used on the 1984 and 1985 Uncirculated and Proof sets and it is how you can tell if your coins from this year were circulation pieces or not.

Late Machin (1984/85) 1 cent and 5 cents

There was a late Machin portrait that was used only in 1984 and 1985, you can see this has more 80s looking letters, a clearer and much flatter outline. This was only on coins for circulation and set coins have the earlier phase.
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2. Raphael Maklouf 1986 - 1998

1 cent to 50 cents with Maklouf design

Raphael Maklouf designed the 3rd portrait of Queen Elizabeth in 1985 and it was used on British and Australian coins that year and rolled out on all New Zealand coins in 1986. Some countries did not adopt it until the 1990s.

The portrait is smaller and shows an older looking Queen. It is quite elegant and more likable than the Machin one.

Early $1 and $2 coins with this portrait, these are worn as they are still legal tender and pulled out of circulation. UNC ones are in the 2nd post.

The 1980s Maklouf coins generally have one script along with 1990/91 dollars. But 1990s Maklouf coins have different style lettering and spacing types for each year of the coins.

The period 1990 - 1998 saw sparse coin issuing, after regular issues to 1989, numbers of coins dropped off. 1990 saw the new dollars and $2 and the new 20c (Most were released only in 2001), 1991 saw the gold only and nothing at all in 1992 and 1993. 1994 and 1995 were 5 cent coins only and 1996 - 1997 saw 5c, 10c. A small issue of $2 coins came in 1997 but the South African minted coins were unsatisfactory as they did not work in vending machines (Namley pokies which were converted to $2 coins only). 1998 saw mintages only of 5 cents and $2.

3. The Ian Rank Broadley era 1999 - now.

The old 5c to 50c with Broadley portrait 1999 - 2005

This portrait was rolled out on the coins in 1999, just one year after the UK and the same year as Australia. The protrait was used on the rest of the old 5c - 50c to 2005 and on all the new generation coins of 2006 onwards.

I can not see any real varieties, but there are the narrow and wide date 20c coins and the size of the portrait shrunk slightly on the newer coins.

The Jodi Clark portrait has not arrived yet, but may for 2020 or 2021 as it was on 2019 Australian coins.

I have 2019 dated $1 and $2 but have not seen any smaller coins are 2016 (10 and 20c) and 2018 (50c).

Next we go through each coin.

Current coins with the Broadley portrait
Edited by Princetane
08/16/2020 01:27 am
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The 1 cent coin

Dates issued :
1967 - 1987
Years not issued: 1968, 1969, 1977, 1988 (Sets only)

Size: 17.53mm
Weight: 2.59 grams
Metal: Bronze

Total Number Issued to circulate - 552,660,000

Design - Fernleaf around the number 1
All coins to the 50 cents designed by James Berry

1967 1 cent specimen coin

The one cent coin was the smallest and least valuable of our decimal coins. It was also by far the most minted and most needed, of all the coins it was only not the most minted before it was retired in 1990 - but even now incredibly common.

More 5 cent coins and 10 cent coins were minted overall, but over a longer period and their numbers increased in the 1990s and early 2000s for the 5c and since 2006 for the 10c, when they too were the lowest value coin in the series.

Of the 261 million coins minted in 1967 for circulation, 120 million or nearly half were 1 cent pieces. My minting numbers have excluded coins minted for Uncirculated and Proof sets.

After this each year bought at least 10 million more coins released and some like 1975, 1980, 1983 and 1985 saw over 40 million more released.

The small size and lack of value, meant thousands were probably lost and its the coin most found by metal detectorists now. Unlike the other values, there are no real varieties of the 1 cent, it was 1 design right through and the only errors would be mint errors like missed planchets etc.

Maklouf 1c and 2c coins

In 1986, the effigy changed to the Machin one and by this stage ideas were afoot to make them and the 2 cent coin obselete. In 1988 this was agreed too and the last 1 cent coins for circulation were dated 1987. 1988 dated cent coins only appeared in Uncirculated and Proof sets and on June 30 1989 the coin was effectively demonitised.

They are not rare now and even I have a huge pile of them, many are still shiny even 1970s dates and 1967s are common as dirt.

Next the 2 cent coin.

Edited by Princetane
08/17/2020 04:27 am
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The 2 cents coin

Date issued: 1967 - 1987
Years not issued: 1968, 1970, 1978, 1979, 1986, 1988

Size: 21.59mm
Weight: 5.18 grams
Metal: Bronze

Total Number issued to circulate: 440,370,000
Design - Kowhai flowers on a branch from a kowhai tree surrounding the number 2 (This is yellow and flowers in spring, often attracting Tui)

The 2 cent coin was the second lowest value coin in the series and was like the 1 cent used only until 1989. This coin was larger than the 5 cents and was heavily used in the early years of decimal currency. Some 75 million were issued in 1967 meaning both low value bronze coins made nearly 80% of the coins issued in 1967!

A polished 2 cent piece in comparison of size with other coins

Like the 1 cent coin, it had a plain edge and saw heavy mintage of 10 million or more every year it was issued. There is one major variety being the 1967 Bahamas mule. I do not have it, but the coin had the standard reverse with the dotted border Bahamas effigy of the Queen. Some 50k of the 75 million coins were minted this way and they are very scarce cataloguing around $100 each. 1974 and 1982 saw mintages of over 50 million coins that year!

In 1967 a 2 cent coin could nearly buy a local postage stamp and 4c equalled a pint of milk of a newspaper (Today 1 litre costs $2.80 and the Herald costs $3.50!) However as inflation wore on through the 1970s and 1980s, the coin became more worthless to the point by 1986 I could only buy one jellybean for 2 cents (As little kids we annoyed storekeepers by buying lollies one by one!). I also remember being given 4 cents for being a good boy at kindergarten and apparently aged 3 in 1979 swallowed a 2 cent piece!

Surprisingly no 1986 dated 2 cent coins went into circulation, but 1987 saw 36.25 million and these sufficed until the coin like the 1 cent was demonitised on June 30 1989 and again with 1988 dated coins being issued only in collector sets.

Next I will discuss sets, before I move on to the 5 cents and up.
Edited by Princetane
08/17/2020 05:09 am
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The Rise and fall of Collectors sets

Between 1965 and 2014 was the golden age of sets of coins sold by the Reserve Bank, these peaked in the 1960s and 1980s, but by the 2010s due to escalating prices and shrinking mintages, these faded out of use.

The 1967 sets

1967 Uncirculated sets

The arrival of the decimal coins in 1967 created a lot of interest, after the very successful 1965 sets sold out in nanoseconds, the Treasury /Reserve Bank was desparate not to make the same mistake and issued more sets for 1967.

1969 Polished set - totally similar to 1965 and still being sent in 1967 folders

However they made several mistakes this year, they made no less than 300k of them which was more than the 200k for 1965 and they eliminated the middle grade green sets with issuing a Standard Pink set and a Polished Blue set. There 250k of the pink and 50k of the blue and each set contained a set of coins up to 50c and the new $1 commemorative.

Explanatory card case

The card case was like the 1965 one except blue and now the insert had details on the old coins as well. The problem was the execution, these sets were rushed out in time for July 10th and thus the plastic protecting the coins was much worse, many sets, especially the pink, the plastic is very spotty and much lower quality, some is even gungy and many times the 1c and 2c coins are tarnished badly and virtually all coins out of this set are faulty. I have about 10 sets and all were liberated as the plastic was all gungy.

Even the specimen sets have tarnishing and dealers sell a superior grade which is like the 1965s - fault free. The sets did not all sell out and pink ones have hardly any value. 500 sets were also issued as Ballot and even rarer than the 1965 ballot set. Again all are standard polished coins.

They issued the $1 coins also in the perspex case separately and this idea they ran with until 1988. There were 200k coins issued this way making a total mintage of 500k of the $1 coin dated 1967!

Cased dollars - the top ones are 1967

Unlike the sets, these dollars have survived better as they were hard plastic, but many cases were opened and flawed dollars exist. As there were 500k in total, that was one coin per 5 people they are common as muck and even now do not reach face (I will pay 70 cents each for them, and always have several I can't get rid of.

Basically the system of sets would change.
Edited by Princetane
08/18/2020 12:27 am
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1968 to 1970

Plush cases that were sold separate for 1968 - 1970 sets.

A different approach was planned for both levels. 1968 saw the issue of set only coins, with none entering circulation. 75k sets were made and surprisingly more (40k) Polished than Standard (35k) and again the same pliofilm was used - but cheaper gungy quality for the Polished and the cheap stained sticky type for Uncirculated. This continued on for 1969 and even 1970 for Polished, but 1969 at least saw the wallet for the cheaper Uncirculated sets.

1968 Unciculated and Polished sets, notice the condition of the sealing plastic, coins are usually unaffected and can be "Liberated"

Even more hilarious was that they merely packed and set them in the same cardboard folders for the 1967 sets.

In 1969 and 1970 the same packaging was used also for the Specimen sets and the idea was you also paid a few dollars more for a plush case to place your coins in (Top photo)

Sadly the Uncirculated grade got a plastic wallet with the coins in the same cheap sticky PVC filled plastic. Until 1972 these were floppy and cheap plastic that got sticky over time and they were considerably damaged with most 1971/72 coin sets considered "Impaired".

A 1969 Uncirculated set in the new floppy case, this is a better example.

Starting in 1973 a harder plastic cover case was used and the plastic was still poor and its not until 1980 the Plastic used to cover the coins was finally a high quality PVC stuff that stopped tarnishing.

The Polished specimen set became a Proof set in 1971 and a nice high quality perspex case was issued and these were virtually impregnable to open.
A perspex case used on Proof sets

The egalitarian focus of the sets changed in the later 70s as in 1974 the Commonwealth games set were issued with a silver quality. Also the other coins were now proper proofs with cameoed and mirrored surfaces rather than just polished like 1953 - 1970 sets.

The early days saw a slight gap between the two grades, but by 1972 it was obvious the Proof sets were aimed at a higher class of individual and the packaging reflected this- whereas the Uncircualted was merely circulation coins packed up in some cheap plastic and a cardboard insert. The Dollar coin becoming sterling silver in 1977 widened that divide more.

The fad for buying sets wore off as the 70s wore on, 1967 saw 300k sets issued, 75k in 1968, 100k in 1969 (Cook was a big event), 1970 saw just 50k and it dropped to the 20s in the mid 70s, by 1976 it climbed to 30k and a the me generation and 80s buying boom saw numbers creep up to 50k sets by 1985 and then drop to 25k by 1992, it dropped further through the 90s and finally by 2000 it was about 2k of each format.

By 1990 a Uncirculated set was about $30 new and $100 for the proof with the silver $1/$5. The last set in 2013 charged $139.95 for Uncirculated and $300 for Proof, by that stage no one was really buying them.

1990s to 2010s Cardboard style wallet.

In 1989 they got rid of the plastic wallets for the Uncirculated sets and went for cardboard sleeves with thin plastic over the coins and this style lasted until 2014.

Proof sets remained in sealed cases, but they got more fancy and well shaped as time wore on.

I will discuss the annual dollar/$5 issues later and list themes and presentation, but will say the perspex case lasted up to 1990 and in 1990 a cardboard wallet like the sets was used for separate $5 annual coins.

A silver proof dollar coin in a ringbox

Proof dollars like uncirculated dollars were for people not wanting a whole set and these were popular single sellers. the coins were placed in a proper coin capsule and that was placed in a plush lined ring style box.
Edited by Princetane
08/18/2020 12:31 am
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A lot for me to catch up with. Good to see the decimal sets to contrast with the predecimal.
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5 cent coin

The 5 cent piece

Years minted: 1967 - 2004
Years not minted for circulation: 1968, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1990 - 1993, 2005, 2006 (Set only last 2 years)
Total minted: - 616,547,000
Replaced: Sixpence

Size: 19.41mm
Weight: 2.82grams
Metal: Cupro nickel (25% Nickel, 75% Copper)
Edge: Reeded all round

Design: A tuatara (Iguana like lizard) curled on a Rock
Designer: James Berry FRPS

The 5 cent coin was the most minted of all coins in the New Zealand series and between 1989 and 2006 it was the lowest value coin in use.

However back in 1967 only 26 million were released into circulation initially, a fraction as many as the 1c and 2c coins (Yet much more than the 3 top coins). This 1967 has two scarce varieties, one is the no tail (I will show these coins on this thread, if I ever find them) and this was a part of the rock edge and the tail curled at the top. The other variety is the lack of a sea line at the right edge.

The coin shows a Tuatara which is a small lizard that is endangered and is mainly found on Stephens Island in the Marlborough sound (Don't worry its very isolated and the Inter Islander ferries go nowhere near it). The lizard is a very ancient survivor from the Triassic period (220mya) and another example of our country's primitive wildlife. the Kiwi is believed to be a Createaceous era survivor. It is the reason why so much of our wildlife is endangered and has been made extinct by the Maori and Pakeha arrivals. Pretty much between 80 million years ago and AD 1280, NZ had no new species arrive!

The Maoris brought the Polynesian rat and the dog - both of which along with the Maoris themsleves wiped out dozens of species like the Moa and North Island fur seal and then the Pakeha (White man) came along and introduced fauna and many pests like cats, Norwegian and brown rats, stoats, dogs, weasels and themselves and hence why birds like the huia are extinct.

There are maybe 500 Tuataras left in the open if that. Sorry about the big environmental speech, but this denomination is probably the least interesting of the lot.

It was the first coin directly equivalent to a predecimal coin and thus many old Sixpences circulated next to them. Unlike the 1 and 2 cent coins, there were many years it was not issued. New Zealand entered huge coin droughts between 1982 and 1985 and again in the early 1990s (Except Dollar denominations). Yet the 5 cent was the first low value coin to be regularly reissued from 1994 onwards.

Numbers issued steadily rose in the 70s and most years saw at least 10 million issued, 1973 however is a scarce year with just 4 million issued. 1982, 1987, 1995 and 2002 all stand out as larrge issue years of 40 million or more. In 1989 with the demise of the smaller coins, the 5 cent was the new bottom coin and thus numbers issued increased, many places ended their prices in a 5 so to look cheaper like $19.95, $99.95, was $1,000.00 now just $999.95.

But by the 1990s, Eftpos (Debit card payment) was increasing and the need for coined money was dropping, plus with the arrival of the gold coins and rampant inflation rendering the coin worthless by 1985 - the numbers issued never reached penny levels and there were not shortages. Still the coin was issued the most years after the copper.

Large numbers were issued every year from 1994 to 2003 and in 2004 another 15 million were struck but only 48k were issued mostly for a souvenir set of coins sold to German and Chinese tourists and kept for the 2006 Smaller change set. This meant the coin was very rare for a while worth $50 or so, but in 2018 about 3 million were found and released to collectors and now the coin is fairly common.

In 2005 with the announcing of changing the cents coins - it was decided the 5 cent coin would be demonitised and it only appear in the collectors sets in 2005 and 2006.

On July 31st 2006, it was withdrawn gradually and on September 30th, the 5 cent coin was demonitised after 39 years.
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The 10 cent coin - Early, 1967 - 2006

For the next 3 coins, as there are two main types, I will deal with each one in a separate post.

A 10 cent coin with 1967 - 1969 Reverse

Years issued: 1967 - 2005
Years not issued: 1968, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1990 - 1995, 1998, 1999, 2006 set only
Rare year: 2005 - 28k issued of 2 million that were struck

Replaced: 1 shilling coin
Replaced by: 10 cent - small size 2006

Size and weight: 23.4mm, 5.65 grams
Metal: Cupronickel for this coin
Design and Designer: A Maori carved face in taniwha (Monster/animal guardian) style - by James Berry FRPS
Edge: Reeded

Number issued - 260,210,000 (Does not include the new style coin)

The 10 cent coin was one of the most important denominations and the middle value coin when first issued, this replaced the one shilling coin and thus why 1960s coins had the word "One Shilling" on them. This was removed for the 1970 dated and later 10 cent coins as the bedding in phase was over by then.
You will also notice the design has moved slightly down the coin and the rim made smaller at the bottom to give the coin more harmony and centrality.

1967 - 1969 and 1970 - 2005 10 cent coin reverses, the earlier coins remained legal tender along with old shillings

Just 17 million 10 cent coins were issued in 1967, but this was significantly more than any year in the shilling series. The coin was worth something back then and could get you a snack item of food like a bottle of coke, some hot chips, a chocolate bar and then some change. By 1975 it could only buy a pint of milk, 1977 post a letter or buy a newspaper. By 1985 all you could buy was 2 or 3 Pineapple lumps (A chocolate lolly). As the value of the coin decreased more and more were issued each year they were issued.

In the 1970s usually 2 or 3 million were issued a year, but in 1978 this went up to 18 million and a mammoth 28 million in 1980. High mintages of 10 - 25 million continued through the 80s, but again it was affected by none issued in many years of the 80s and none at all between 1989 and 1996. Issues picked up in the final years of the early series and the first half of the 2000s saw 10 million coins or so put out each year.

Despite being almost worthless by this era, the coin was popular and heavily used in vending machines, parking meters and even in the early 90s as a coin for pokie machines (In my gambling days I played a 10 cent pokie in Dunedin which paid out as much as $100 in 10 cent coins!

By 2005, the coin was being seen as too large for its worth and it was agreed to keep it, but a reduced size and lower quality coin would be issued in its place. Just 2 million were minted in that year and only 28k came out mostly for the 2006 small change set and again the tourist sets that used up the 2004 5 cent coins. Unlike that coin, the 2005 10 cent coin is scarce today.

Again in July 2006 the new 10 cent coin was phased in and the old one phased out, on Sep 30th it was demonitised, but there was stories of people trying to pass them off as the new 50 cent coin which was marginally larger!

The other thing to bear in mind is that One shilling coins of the pre 1967 circulated with it and also Australian coins from 1c to 20c were often found in NZ change and I remember many 10c coins were Australian, always separated as they had a plain edge. Just like many Australians mention finding obselete kiwi coins in their change!

Next the new 10 cent coin.
Edited by Princetane
08/18/2020 12:04 am
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The 10 cent coin - Later 2006 - now

The current 10 cent coin

Dates issued: 2006 - current
Years not issued: 2008, 2010, 2017

Size: 20.5mm
Weight: 4 grams
Metal: Copper plated steel
Edge: Plain

Where minted: Coins were minted at Royal Canadian Mint, Royal Australian Mint in Canberra and Royal Mint Llantrissant for dollar coins. These ones I believe are Canadian.

Design and Designer: Same as the old 10 cent coin

Number minted: - 302,700,000
Total 10 cent coins minted of both types: 562,910,000

The new 10 cent coin was released as a much smaller and in my opinion less satisfactory one - it looked and felt cheap. Also they darkened quickly to look like a cheap old bronze coin - but steel was used as it was much cheaper and more durable than the copper used previously. This coin was well accepted as by 2006 10 cents was the bottom unit of change, you can honestly buy nothing with it except maybe one sweetie like a winegum or 2 jellybeans! Hence losing them was no issue, I frequently find 10 cent pieces everywhere!

Plus they do not dull as quickly as expected and they look okay all nice and shiney. I can even find 2006 coins that still have some lustre in coin rolls.

This page shows a line of all the dates with only 2007 quite dark. Some coins I have 2 examples of!

The old and new coins side by side

The initial issue in 2006 saw no less than 140 million issued and the following years saw coins issued most of the time with between 11 and 30 million coins per year. Needless to say there is no shortage with about 60 coins out there for every New Zealander. In fact more of these coins have been issued than all of the early type.

In 2007 a special 10 cent coin with a Tuatara on it (Different design) was released, but only 15k and only on a mint "Credit card" pack which was reasonably priced at $7.95, but still not counting as a circulation piece. My catalogue stops at 2017, but apparently 2019 coins have been minted.

Generally the Reserve bank orders coins and then holds on to them until they are needed by the banks and often coins sit a few years before coming out. 2015 dated 10 cent coins came out in mid 2017 and some 2016s slipped out this year just before Covid 19 lockdowns. Needless to say with Covid - coins are less popular than ever and coins dated after 2016 may come years later.

Next the 20 cents.
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 Posted 08/18/2020  09:29 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

In 2005 with the announcing of changing the cents coins - it was decided the 5 cent coin would be demonitised and it only appear in the collectors sets in 2005 and 2006.
A lesson we can learn in the States (as well as the previously mentioned cent retirement).
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 Posted 08/19/2020  03:10 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The 20 cent coin - Early, 1967 - 2006

20 cent coin 1967 - 1989

20 cent coin 1990 - 2006

Dates issued - 1967 to 2006
Years not issued for circulation: 1968, 1970, 1991 - 2001, 2003 and 2006 (Set only)

Weight: 11.28 grams
Size: 28.4mm
Metal: Cupronickel
Replaced: One Florin (Two Shillings)
Replaced by: 20 cents small size

Design 1: Kiwi in natural surroundings and letter 20
Design 2: Maori carved gate post known as "Pukaki"

Designers: 1 James Berry, 2 Maurice Conly,

Number issued: - 169,230,000

The 20 cent coin was one of our most widely issued and beloved coins, when released in 1967 it had a significant amount of value and you could buy a glass of beer or fish and chips with it. Petrol was just a bit more for a whole gallon.
It was the 2nd highest face value coin on release and just 13 million were minted. It was easily confused with the slightly larger but much more valuable 50 cent coin and this coin had a reeded edge around whilst the 50c had a edge with flat parts and reeded sections.

The size difference between 20c and 50c coins was minimal

Numbers issued of the 20 cent piece remained fairly low with less than 7 million every year until the 1980s when inflation set in. It was interesting that every year from 1971 to 1990 saw coins issued. Although some years like 1971, 72, 1974, 1976 - 78, 83 and 84 saw low numbers issued of 1 to 2.5 milion low by Kiwi coin standards.

By the 1980s, the 20 cent piece could only buy a newspaper or a milk bottle and by 1985 it gave me one of the most pathetic 20 cent lolly mixtures I saw in my life. That was they year I was allowed to move up to the 50 cent mixture! I was a greedy little kiddie and was usually upset when I thought that 50 cent sized looking coin I got given by my parents, turned out to be a worthless in my opinion - 20 cent coin. It was deceiving!

In the late 1970s and 1980s, the 20 cent coin was useful mainly as the coin you used to play video games, known as spacies here in New Zealand. 1982 saw a record mintage of some 17.5 million coins more than 1967! The period 1986 to 1988 also saw jumbo numbers.

In 1990 with the release of the new dollar coin, it was decided a new design for the coin was needed as the dollar had a kiwi on it and 2 kiwi coins was too much, so the famous Maori carving known as Pukaki was placed on the coin.

Pukaki sat atop a large gate into a Maori Pa near Rotorua between 1845 and around 1880. A significant piece of art showing a mother guardian with her children, it sits now in a Museum and is a breathtakingly beautiful taonga (Treasure). Pukaki was over 2m high and carved with iron tools.

The 1990 dated 20 cent coins were also issued as part of the sesquicentenary celebrations and given a glut of coins in the late 1980s, no more 20 cent coins came out until 2002! In fact the 1990 dated coins were released incrementally through the 90s, with only a few hundred thousand released in 1991, the bulk coming out in 2000.

Very generous numbers of 20 cent coins came out in 2002 and 2004, but by this stage the coin was near worthless and was seen as a large pocket killer and it was the biggest casualty of the currency downsize operation. Its replacement was 7mm smaller and did not even weigh half as much.

2005 dated 20 cent and 50 cent coins

2005 had 4 million coins minted, but only about 125k were released and basically I was lucky to find 2 examples in 2006.
2006 dated coins only appear in annual sets and all of the circulation pieces are the smaller coins.

I also have an earlier 20 cent coin with a worn off reverse, Not sure if its bad strike or damaged.

Next the small 20 cent coin.
Edited by Princetane
08/19/2020 03:16 am
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 Posted 08/19/2020  05:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The 20 cent coin, New style 2006 - now

Years minted: 2006 - ongoing
Years not minted for circulation: 2007,2009 - 2013, 2017, 2018?

Size: 21.75mm
Weight: 5 grams
Edge: scalloped 7 major dimples in the edge with rounded portions between
Metal: Stainless steel

Design: Pukaki, Maori carved gate post (Same as 1990 20 cent piece, but greatly reduced in size)
Designer: Maurice Conly

Number minted: 237,600,000
Total number of 20 cent coins of both types: 406,802,00

The 20 cent coin was reduced greatly in size for the coinage reform and today is much easier told apart from the 50 cent coin. Like the 10 cent, this new coin was well received as the 20 cent coin has very little value and is a change coin only, mostly used for parking meters and vending machines. The size reduction was justified and now means at least the $2 coin worth 10 x as much is larger than it.

Old and new 20 cent coins together, the size difference is very pronounced.

A very high number were issued in July 2006 with 116,600,000 coins - almost as many as the 10 cent piece and nearly as many as the old 20 cent piece. However unlike the 10 cent piece, this number was more than adequate for many years and further issues of coins only came in 2008 (80 million more) and 2014, 2015 and 2016 (23 million and 18 million and unknown). It is also rumoured that 20 cent coins dated 2018 or 2019 have also been minted and are being stored at the Reserve bank.

2014 narrow and wide dates

One interesting and common variety is the 2014 wide and narrow dates, one can clearly see the difference in numeral spacing of the coins. Type I wide date is an earlier strike (Bertrand 2018) and there is less detail on Pukaki on the other side. The narrow date Type II is later and has more detail on Pukaki, meaning its was a die replacement. Type II is the more scarce coin and is 5x less common than Type 1 - but not rare in any sense of the word. I have 2 examples of each just in case.

The 20 cent is an interesting series that warrants further investigation. It is like the 10 cent overlooked by Kiwis today and it is amazing how many are lost in cars, grass and deep in people's pockets, all our cents coins just have no real value anymore.

Other errors include for the earlier coin, a scalloped 20 cent coin from 1975, which was for the Hong Kong $2 coins of the era (Rare as heck) and a 1976 doubled die coin which is unique, meaning I don't have one yet because Spring can be eternal.

Next - The 50 cent piece!
Edited by Princetane
08/19/2020 05:39 am
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