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The themes and thinking behind New Zealand’s 1967 decimal coin designs

This article reviews the thinking behind the themes and general imagery picked for New Zealand’s original decimal coins.

Matthew Wright

New Zealand’s switch to decimal currency in July 1967 concluded around 3 years’ continuous and, at times, controversial work by officials from the Decimal Currency Board, The Treasury and the Reserve Bank, among others.

Those directly involved with production of the decimal coins included a Coinage Design Advisory Committee, artists, designers, officials at the Royal Mint and even HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

Today, 4 of the 5 circulating coins use themes either applied in the original 1967 decimal release, or directly considered at that time.