New Zealand Post stamps and coin celebrate longest reigning monarch

9 September 2015

New Zealand Post has created a seven-stamp issue and a new collector’s coin to mark Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest reigning British monarch.

Queen Elizabeth II surpasses the length of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria’s reign today.

The world's first ‘rotating’ legal tender coin features two gold-plated New Zealand images of a 1953 portrait uncrowned by Mary Gillick and the official portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley.

The 1oz silver proof inner section rotates inside a non-precious-metal outer rim. The coin has a limited worldwide mintage of 2,015.

New Zealand Post Head of Stamps and Coins, Simon Allison, said designers came up with the ‘rotating coin’ concept as a special way to commemorate the milestone.

“This type of legal tender coin has never been seen before, adding a new dimension to coin collecting.”

Mr Allison said although Queen Elizabeth II reaches this great milestone for Britain today, she became New Zealand’s longest reigning monarch in January 2013. This is because Britain’s sovereignty over New Zealand became effective a few years into Queen Victoria’s reign.

“Queen Elizabeth II has been our sovereign for over 63 years, while Queen Victoria’s reign over New Zealand was just over 60 years long.”

“The stamps provide a sense of what has happened in New Zealand during the Queen’s reign and how times have changed during her lifetime,” Simon Allison said.

This issue is available for online pre-order from 9 September 2015 at www.nzpost.co.nz/stamps and www.nzpost.co.nz/coins.