Anzac commemorative coins march out of PostShop and Kiwibank doors

Release date
20 April 2015

More than three quarters of the coloured circulating commemorative coins minted to mark the Anzac centenary have been taken up by the public.

The Reserve Bank minted one million of the special 50 cent Anzac coins to commemorate the centenary, on 25 April 1915, of the Anzac landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

The coins are available for sale online and at PostShop and Kiwibank branches nationwide, and more than 750,000 coins have been distributed since mid-February.

The Anzac coins are sold at their face value – 50 cents – and are legal tender.

Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand says public feedback about the coin has been overwhelmingly positive, and uptake has been strong ahead of the Anzac centenary next week.

"New Zealanders have been very keen to secure their own coloured circulating commemorative coin as a symbol of the spirit of Anzac which was forged on the shores of Gallipoli a hundred years ago.

"The Anzac coin is legal tender, so you can use it as you would a regular 50-cent coin to pay for goods and services. But we expect many people will choose to keep it as a way to commemorate the centenary and remember those who fought for country, King and Empire."

Groups representing former and current armed services, including the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association members and Defence Force personnel, were given the opportunity to pre-order coins.

Background information

The Anzac coin is New Zealand's first ever coloured, circulating commemorative coin. It was minted and colour stamped by the Royal Canadian Mint. A video of the minting and stamping process is available on the Reserve Bank's YouTube channel.

One million Anzac coins were minted. This number represents the size of the New Zealand population at the start of the First World War.

The design 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.

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.

New Zealand Post Group is responsible for distributing the Anzac coins. The coins are available at PostShop and Kiwibank branches nationwide, and online at NZ Post's website.

Media contacts

Vivienne Sanders
Vivienne.Sanders@rbnz.govt.nz
Ph 04 471 3662

Richard Trow
NZ Post
Richard.Trow@nzpost.co.nz
Ph 04 4964566, 027 837 6179