What you need to know
What can I return
- We will only pay face value for old or damaged currency that has been legally issued for use in New Zealand.
- Contact a numismatic dealer if you think the banknotes or coins may be worth more than face value.
- We do not accept foreign currency.
- We may need to make individual assessments if the currency you return is severely damaged and unable to be counted.
How do I prepare my claim
- Complete all sections of the claim application form to enable us to process your claim.
- Separate coins by size and denomination before returning.
- When lodging a claim for incomplete or heat damaged bank notes, collect as much bank note material as possible to help with our assessment of your claim.
- When your banknotes are showing signs of disintegration, handle them with care and package carefully to prevent further loss of bank note material.
- Contaminated currency should be sealed in a bag or container to allow safe handling, with the type of contamination written clearly on the outside and described in the claim form.
How do I value my claim
- The value of your claim is calculated using our decimal system.
- If you return pre-decimal notes or coins, you can use the conversion table to decimal value below.
- We do not offer advice on the value of banknotes and coins as collectable items.
|Half Penny||24 needed to make 10 cents||Ten Shillings||1 needed to make $1|
|Penny||12 needed to make 10 cents||1 Pound||1 needed to make $2|
|Three pence||4 needed to make 10 cents||2 Pound||1 needed to make $4|
|Six pence||2 needed to make 10 cents||5 Pound||1 needed to make $10|
|Shilling||1 needed to make 10 cents||10 Pound||1 needed to make $20|
|Florin||1 needed to make 20 cents||20 Pound||1 needed to make $40|
|Half Crown||1 needed to make 25 cents||50 Pound||1 needed to make $100|
|Full Crown||1 needed to make 50 cents|
If you are bringing in old or damaged banknotes and coins to us in person, print and complete one of the following forms, depending on where your bank account is based:
You can either:
- print and complete by hand, or
- fill it in electronically, then print it out and sign.
Bring the completed form and your old or damaged cash with you to our office on 2 The Terrace in Wellington and staff at our Reception will help you with your claim.
You can send old or damaged banknotes and coins by courier or post to our office in Wellington:
Attention to: Currency Officer
Reserve Bank of New Zealand
2 The Terrace
- Use of couriers and postal services is at your own risk.
- You must pay the total cost of sending the banknotes and coins to us.
- You must complete, sign, and enclose one of the following forms, depending on where your bank account is based:
How and when do I get paid
- We will pay out claims to a valid bank account only.
- Banknotes and coin returns may take up to 20 working days to process.
Who do I contact if I have questions regarding my claim
- Phone: +64 4 472 2029 or
- Email questions about your claim to [email protected]
What fees may be deducted from my claim if paid into an overseas account?
Fees will be deducted if the bank account you specify is hosted outside New Zealand.
Your Correspondent bank and the Reserve Bank’s trading bank will deduct overseas transaction fees from your claim payment. If your claim value is less than the sum of these transaction fees, you will not receive a payment for your claim.
You may wish to donate your claim to charity, particularly if your claim is for a small amount (less than NZD25).
For such occasions, the form allows you to indicate which charity you would like to support:
- To donate the claim amount to the New Zealand Red Cross (international work) - www.redcross.org.nz
- To donate the claim amount to UNICEF New Zealand (international work) - www.unicef.org.nz
What is legal tender?
Series 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of New Zealand $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 banknotes are legal tender, regardless of how old they are and what condition they are in, so long as they are still recognisable as banknotes.
The current 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent, $1 and $2 coins are also legal tender.
Currency that is not legal tender
Banknotes and coins that are no longer legal tender (with the date withdrawn from circulation) include:
|British silver coins (crown, half-crown, florin, shilling, sixpence and threepence)||1 February 1935|
|Series 1 and Series 2 banknotes||1 November 1982|
|1 cent and 2 cent coins||30 April 1990|
|$1 and $2 notes||16 April 1993|
|Cupro-nickel 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent coins||1 November 2006|
We will always pay face value for currency that has been legally issued for use in New Zealand but has ceased to be legal tender (including pre-decimal currency).
Buying banknotes and coins from us
We only issue banknotes and coins to the retail banks. We don't sell new or old banknotes and coins directly to the public.