Author Topic: The predecimal coinage of New Zealand  (Read 1355 times)

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Offline <k>

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The predecimal coinage of New Zealand
« on: October 16, 2017, 03:19:12 PM »



From Wikipedia:

The pound was the currency of New Zealand from 1840 until 1967, when it was replaced by the New Zealand dollar. Initially, British and Australian coins circulated in New Zealand. As a result of the Great Depression of the early 1930s, the New Zealand agricultural export market to the UK was badly affected. By 1933 the New Zealand pound had fallen to a value of only 16 shillings sterling, and this led to the issue of distinct New Zealand coins in 1933.

In the London, numismatic artists of the Royal Mint, Percy Metcalfe and George Kruger-Gray set to work developing prospective designs for the new coinage. Inevitably, not all of them were acceptable, and eventually Kruger-Gray's designs were chosen. It is interesting, however, to see some of the rejected designs: Discarded designs from New Zealand's 1933 coinage.

Offline <k>

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Re: The predecimal coinage of New Zealand
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2017, 03:24:29 PM »
The first coins were released in 1933, though a penny and halfpenny were not issued until 1940. Percy Metcalfe provided the portrait of King George V for the obverse of the coinage.

Offline <k>

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Re: The predecimal coinage of New Zealand
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2017, 03:27:24 PM »



The reverse of the three pence coin featured Maori war clubs. All the designs were retained until the last New Zealand predecimal coins were issued in 1965.

Offline <k>

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Re: The predecimal coinage of New Zealand
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2017, 03:28:35 PM »



The sixpence featured a huia bird.

Offline <k>

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Re: The predecimal coinage of New Zealand
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2017, 03:29:32 PM »

The huia bird.

Offline <k>

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Re: The predecimal coinage of New Zealand
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2017, 03:31:15 PM »

The shilling depicted a Maori warrior in a ceremonial pose.

Offline <k>

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Re: The predecimal coinage of New Zealand
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2017, 03:33:03 PM »

The florin featured the national bird: a kiwi.



See also: Kiwis on coins.

Offline <k>

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Re: The predecimal coinage of New Zealand
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2017, 03:36:33 PM »

The reverse of the half crown depicted the national coat of arms.

Offline <k>

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Re: The predecimal coinage of New Zealand
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2017, 03:45:24 PM »

The Waitangi Crown.



The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Maori chiefs. For some reason, the New Zealanders chose to commemorate this event on a crown dated 1935. The reverse design for the crown was created by James Berry, who went on to design the reverses of New Zealand's first decimal circulation coins of 1967.



See also: The Waitangi crown: an alternative sketch from James Berry's papers.

Offline <k>

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Re: The predecimal coinage of New Zealand
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2017, 03:47:22 PM »
King George V died in January 1936. The new king, Edward VIII, decided that the Dominions would henceforth be allowed to use the uncrowned effigy on their coinage, if they so chose. The Dominions considered that they were equals of Britain, even though Britain was first among equals, and that therefore they should not have to use the crowned effigy as the mere colonies were required to do. The crowned / uncrowned effigy had unexpectedly become an issue of status and to an extent, race: Dominions (ruled by people of British and European descent) versus the colonies.

Edward VIII abdicated in December 1936, and no coins bearing his portrait were issued in the UK, New Zealand or anywhere else, though British patterns do of course exist. King George VI, however, decided to implement Edward's policy of allowing the Dominions to use the uncrowned effigy.

Below you see Humphrey Paget's famous portrait of King George VI, as it appeared on the obverse of a New Zealand florin of 1937.

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Re: The predecimal coinage of New Zealand
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2017, 03:56:42 PM »
To complete the predecimal coinage, New Zealand artist Leonard Cornwall Mitchell designed the halfpenny, featuring a Maori Tiki head, and penny, which depicted a tui (parson bird). The first coins were dated 1939 but were not issued until 1940.

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Re: The predecimal coinage of New Zealand
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2017, 03:57:34 PM »



The halfpenny, which depicted a Tiki head.

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Re: The predecimal coinage of New Zealand
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2017, 03:59:01 PM »



The tui (parson bird) appeared on the penny.


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Re: The predecimal coinage of New Zealand
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2017, 03:59:54 PM »

The tui.

Offline <k>

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Re: The predecimal coinage of New Zealand
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2017, 04:07:06 PM »
In 1940 New Zealand issued a half crown to commemorate the centenary of the signing of the Waitangi Treaty. Apparently it was the world's only commemorative half crown. The reverse design, by L C Mitchell, depicted a Maori princess against a modern urban background.