NZ’s first ever circulating coloured coin to mark Anzac Centenary

10 February 2015

A coloured legal tender 50 cent coin will be on sale to the public from next month to commemorate the centenary, on 25 April 1915, of the Anzac landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

It is the first time that a New Zealand coloured circulating coin has been produced. The coin will be in circulation as legal tender and available for collectors.

The Reserve Bank has minted one million of the special 50 cent coins. This number represents the size of the New Zealand population at the start of the First World War. The coins will be available to the public from 23 March through PostShops and Kiwibank branches.

The Anzac coin was released by the Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM, QSO, at an event at Government House in Wellington today.

Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler said the coin will circulate with New Zealand’s existing currency.

“The coin honours the spirit of Anzac that was formed 100 years ago, and lives on today. This is the first time in New Zealand’s history that we have had a colour commemorative circulating coin, and we expect it to be popular and highly sought after,” Mr Wheeler said.

New Zealand Post Group chief executive Brian Roche said NZ Post commissioned renowned New Zealand artist Dave Burke to design the coin. It is part of NZ Post’s wider five-year stamp and coin programme commemorating the centenary of WWI and honouring the role in the war of staff from the Post and Telegraph Department (a precursor of NZ Post).

“The coin features New Zealand and Australian soldiers standing back to back with their heads bowed in remembrance. The mangopare (hammerhead shark) pattern symbolises strength and determination, and the silver fern reflects New Zealand’s national identity.”

To represent New Zealand’s national colours, the mangopare is coloured white on the coin, with the background coloured black, Mr Roche said.

Sir Jerry Mateparae said the coin represents the comradeship forged between New Zealand and Australia 100 years ago, far away from home on the shores of Gallipoli.

“This coin is a symbol of our nationhood. It reminds us of the events that occurred at Gallipoli. It helps us to remember the New Zealanders who served there and all those who have served our country during times of conflict and peace, and it is evidence that the links with Australia and the Anzac spirit endure.”

The coins have been minted and colour stamped by the Royal Canadian Mint, using a special ‘print pad’ technology.

The Anzac circulating coin has the same specifications as the existing 50 cent coin and testing has shown it will be accepted in coin and vending machines.

Key coin availability dates:

  • Groups representing former and current armed services, including the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association members and Defence Force personnel, will be given the opportunity to pre-order a limited number of coins from today.
  • The coins will be made available to the public to pre-order from 23 February 2015.
  • The coins will be released publicly in PostShops and Kiwibank branches nationwide on Monday 23 March 2015 and sold at their 50 cent face value.

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