Armistice Day coin: keep me, spend me, remember me

Release date
30 April 2018

The Reserve Bank today announced in October it will issue a colour circulating legal tender 50 cent coin to mark the centenary of Armistice Day.

The announcement comes with a picture of the design.

The Armistice Day coin face, back and edge treatment

The coin commemorates the history of Armistice Day, and the service and sacrifice made by service personnel and their families to bring peace to New Zealand and the world.

Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr said the coin will have significance for those New Zealanders whose relatives served in the First World War: “If you ask a group of New Zealanders if they had a relative who served in the war effort, you’d be surprised at the show of hands. It’s important we play our part in commemorating significant world events that impacted on our people."

The Reserve Bank has minted two million of the legal tender 50 cent coins which will have the same specifications and electromagnetic properties as the existing 50 cent coin. It has been tested to ensure it’s compatible with coin equipment and coin vending machines.

The coins have been minted and colour stamped by the Royal Canadian Mint, using the latest print pad technology. New Zealand’s first-ever circulating colour coin was minted in 2015 to mark the centenary of Anzac Day.

About Armistice Day

Armistice Day (also sometimes referred to as Remembrance Day) marks the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended WW1. It commemorates the sacrifice of those who died serving New Zealand in this and all wars and armed conflict.

The Great War of 1914 to 1918 was one of the most devastating events in human history. New Zealand, with a population of 1.1 million in 1914, sent 100,000 men and women abroad. 16,700 died and over 40,000 were wounded.

The signing of the Armistice is observed annually in New Zealand at 11am on 11 November (the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month). This was when the allies and Germany signed the armistice in Compiègne, France.

Two minutes silence is observed in memory of those New Zealanders who died while serving our country.

About coin the design

The Bank and NZ Post worked closely with New Zealand artist Dave Burke to create the Armistice Day coin design which features the official RSA’s red poppy in the middle, surrounded by a free-formed remembrance wreath that has incorporated the silver fern and koru as strong New Zealand elements. The printed ferns on the wreath represent the past, present, and future and the three armed forces in New Zealand. The engraved koru pattern represents new beginnings, and the engraved silver fern reflects New Zealand’s national identity.

A portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse. As with all the Bank’s coin designs, this coin has been approved by Her Majesty the Queen.

Coin availability and dates

The majority of the coins (approximately 1.6 million) will be released into circulation from 1 October. The coins will be distributed to New Zealand retailers throughout the country.

To maximise the chance of receiving a coin, and to be fair to everyone, the coins will be divided between regions based on population. You may just see one in your change.

The public and groups with a vested interest will be able to order a limited number of coins through the NZ Post website in the second half of the year.

See the NZ Post website for more information.

More information

Media Contact
Vivienne Sanders
External Communications Adviser
Phone 04 471 3763
Email vivienne.sanders@rbnz.govt.nz