10 cents
New Zealand 10 cents 2006
Coin from 2006
General information

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Measurements and composition
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  • 5.65 g (1967-2006)
  • 3.31 g (2006-present)
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  • 23.62 mm (1967-2006)
  • 20.5 mm (2006-present)
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  • 1.69 mm (1967-2006)
  • 1.58 mm (2006-present)
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Elizabeth II, state title, year

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  • Māori koruru, value (1967-present)
  • Sailboats, rainbow design, value (1990 commemorative)
  • Tuatara (Sphenodon), value (2007 commemorative)
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The 10 cent coin was introduced by the island country of New Zealand in 1967, replacing the pre-decimal shilling coin of the same value after the country decimalized. Coins of the denomination have been circulated since that date, and following issues have undergone changes from then, most notably the alterations to the portrait of Elizabeth II on the obverse and the 2006 change in composition. Since the 5 cent coin was phased out in 2006, the 10 cent piece is now the lowest circulating coin still produced in New Zealand. Commemorative pieces denominated at 10 cents were issued in 1990 and 2007, respectively commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi and the endemic tuatara (Sphenodon). In addition, silver versions of the circulation coin were produced during the years 2011 and 2012 and sold online by the New Zealand Post.


Koruru coins (1967-present)Edit

See also: New Zealand 1 shilling coin
New Zealand 10 cents 1967

The first 10 cent coin.

The first 10 cent coin of New Zealand was issued in 1967, the year when the island country replaced its pound with a decimalized dollar-denominated currency. During the transition period, 1 pre-decimal shilling was made equal to 10 cents. The 10 cent coin introduced during 1967 is composed of cupronickel, weighs approximately 5.65 grams, and measures 23.62 millimeters in diameter and 1.69 millimeters in thickness. Arnold Machin's right-facing portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, the monarch of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realm since 1952, is featured in the center of the obverse. The caption "ELIZABETH II" is inscribed to the left of her likeness, "NEW ZEALAND" is printed to the right, and the year of minting is displayed below. Depicted on the reverse is a large Māori koruru (carved head) designed by New Zealandic artist Reginald George James Berry. The value is featured above the koruru as "10" (representing nominal value in cents) and below it as "ONE SHILLING". Between the image of the koruru and the shilling value are the "JB" initials of the designer, printed in small font. The coin's edge is reeded. Production of this version of the coin ceased in 1969. Over a period of three years, a total of 20,275,010 examples were produced: 20,085,000 standard coins; 140,000 prooflike pieces; and 5010 proofs. The 1968 standard coins were only issued in coin sets, and no proofs were made during that year. The rarest variety of the 1967-1969 10 cent coin is the 1967 proof, which has a mintage of only 10 pieces.

New Zealand 10 cents 1974

A 1974 10 cent coin

A new issue of the 10 cent coin was introduced in 1970. It only differs from its predecessor by the omission of the shilling value on the reverse, and, because of this, the elements on that side of the coin are pushed a bit further down. There is a variety from 1985 that features a portrait of the queen with wiry hair and bushy eyebrows. Between 1970 and 1985, a total of 113,456,010 10 cent coins were minted: 113,245,000 standard coins; 20,000 prooflike pieces; and 191,010 proofs. Eight million of the standard pieces were of the "wiry hair, bushy eyebrow" variety, and 147,000 examples produced between 1980 and 1985 were only offered in sets. Two variants of the 1971 standard coin are known to exist – one bears serifs on the date while the other does not. The pieces in the 1980 coin set all have a circular "0" in the date while those intended for circulation have an oval-shaped "0". Similarly, two main varieties of the standard 1981 and 1982 coins are known. The coin set piece for 1981 has circular holes in the numeral "8" while those on the circulation coin are oval-shaped, and the 1982 set piece has a point-tipped numeral "2" in the date while the circulation uses a blunt, open "2".

New Zealand 10 cents 1996

A 1996 10 cent coin

A new version of the portrait of Elizabeth II by Israeli-born British sculptor Raphael David Maklouf was used in the United Kingdom and other countries starting in 1985. New Zealand adopted the new likeness for its coins in 1986. Aside from the new portrait on the obverse, no other changes were made to the 10 cent coin in 1986. Until 1998, a total of 77,908,961 Maklouf-portrait 10 cent pieces were produced. Of these, 150,600 were offered in sets; 96,361 were proofs; and about 77,662,000 were intended for circulation. Only one date has two varieties: 1988. The circulation coin has more of a rounded relief while the set piece has a relief that is flatter. Sets of the 1986-1998 10 cent coin were offered every year from 1986 to 1995, and then offered once more during the year 1998. Circulation coins were only produced from 1987 to 1989 and from 1996 to 1997.

New Zealand 10 cents 2000

A 2000 10 cent coin

A more up-to-date likeness of Queen Elizabeth II by British artist Ian Rank-Broadley was chosen for coinage in the United Kingdom in 1997, and began appearing on currency in 1998. New Zealand did not begin using the new portrait until a year later in 1999. Unlike with the previous change in the portrait, the entire obverse was redone. The 10 cent coins of New Zealand produced from 1999 to 2006 feature a much larger portrait of the queen than the 1986 coins, and as a result, many of the words have been relocated to different areas on the obverse. "NEW ZEALAND" is located to the left of Elizabeth's image, while her name "ELIZABETH II" is printed to the right of her likeness. The year of minting remains present below the queen's portrait, but at an angle. Also, the author's initials "IRB" are inscribed between the queen and the date, printed at the same angle as the latter. Between 1999 and 2006, a total of at least 52,536,369 pieces were produced. About 13,760 of these were proofs; 22,609 were offered in sets; and 52,500,000 were intended for circulation. Sets and proofs were offered each year, and circulation coins were only produced from 2000 to 2005. All but approximately 28,000 of the 2005 circulation pieces were melted down the following year, making this date today worth much more to collectors than any other of the 1999-2006 10 cent coin.

New Zealand 10 cents 2006 (previous version)

A 2006 10 cent coin

In 2004, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the entity responsible for the production of currency for New Zealand, announced it would make the size of the 10 cent coin smaller and use plated steel to make it lighter. This was because the coin reportedly could not be carried in large quantities and was too close in size to the 1 dollar coin, which caused problems with citizens using them in $1 parking meters. The Reserve Bank commissioned the Royal Canadian Mint to produce the coins starting in August 2005. Such coins started to circulate in 2006, and their introduction ultimately resulted in the withdrawal and melting down of several of the 10 cent pieces used prior to that date. The 10 cent coin introduced in 2006 is composed of copper-plated steel, weighs 3.3 grams, and measures 20.5 millimeters in diameter and 1.58 millimeters in thickness. However, the proofs and set coins produced from 2010 to 2012 are instead composed of solid copper and weigh about 3.73 grams. The only other alteration made was the edge, which is smooth instead of reeded. A total of approximately 226,033,000 examples have been produced since 2006. About 17,000 of these are proofs; 19,000 have been offered in sets; and 225,997,000 are intended for circulation. Proofs and set coins have been produced each year since 2007, and circulation coins have been produced from 2006 to 2007, in 2009, and from 2011 to 2012.

In 2011 the New Zealand Post sold silver proof currency sets containing all of the denominations of circulating coined currency, including the 10 cent piece, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1 and 2 dollar coins. The silver 10 cent coin is identical in design to the currently circulating 10 cent coin and measures the same 20.5 millimeters in diameter. However, due to its composition, it weighs a much heavier 4.37 grams. Only 1200 examples were produced. The following year, the Post again offered a silver currency set; however, the 10 cent coin of this set carries a coating of gold and its production was limited to approximately 1000 pieces.

Treaty of Waitangi commemorative coin (1990)Edit

The Treaty of Waitangi, the considered founding document of New Zealand, was signed by representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand in 1840. In 1990, the country authorized the production of two five-coin sets commemorating the 150th anniversary of the event. Each of these sets contains 10 cent coins identical to each other in design, but one was struck in cupronickel and the other in silver. The obverse of each is identical in appearance to the circulation coins of the time, featuring Maklouf's portrait of Elizabeth with her name to the left, the title "NEW ZEALAND" to the right, and the date below. The reverse features three indigenous sailboats floating in the water underneath a rainbow of sorts and the coin's value (inscribed as "10"). The cupronickel coin has the same measurements as the corresponding circulation coins, but the silver coin weighs a larger 6.53 grams. Only 10,000 cupronickel and 7,000 silver proof coins were produced.

Tuatara commemorative coin (2007)Edit

The tuatara (Sphenodon) is a reptile endemic to New Zealand, revered in the Māori culture and one of the country's most recognized and rarest native animals. It was also featured on the 5 cent coin of the country before it was phased out in 2006. In 2007 the Reserve Bank of New Zealand commissioned the Royal Australian Mint to produce commemorative coins featuring the rare reptile. The copper-plated steel coin bears the same dimensions as the circulation 10 cent coins that started to be issued in 2006, and its obverse is identical in design to the concurrently issued circulation pieces as well. An image of a tuatara on a rock is shown on the reverse, with the word "TUATARA" inscribed above it and the value "10" written below the animal in the rock. A total of less than 15,000 examples were produced in Australia and sold online by the New Zealand Post. These coins were presented in a display card that features a photograph of a tuatara with the words "Remember the Tuatara!" in italics below.


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