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Thursday, November 24, 2011

New Zealand-1937 and 1948 Halfcrowns-(2 Shillings and Sixpence)-Illustrated

Illustrated below are the obverse and reverse of two examples of New Zealand Halfcrowns. A Crown was worth 5 Shillings in pre-decimal currency and a Halfcrown was worth 2 Shillings and Sixpence. Coins issued for New Zealand were not introduced until 1933 .Until this time British coinage had been used, British coins ceased to be legal tender in New Zealand in 1935, New Zealand being the last self governing Dominion to issue its own currency.
In 1920 silver coins throughout the British Empire had been devalued from 95% silver (sterling) to 50% silver and 50 % alloy and all silver coins minted for New Zealand between 1933 and 1946 were only 50% silver. After 1946 silver in coinage was discontinued and all were replaced by cupro-nickel coins.
The two Halfcrowns shown below are from the reign of George the 6th. The 1937 example is 50% silver the 1948 cupro-nickel. Other changes occured during the minting, originally the obverse legend on George the 6th coinage was "King Emperor" this was discontinued after the independence of India. The reverse remained the same technically described as " Ensigns armorial of the Dominion on their shield (quarterings depicting the Southern Cross, a wheat sheaf, a lamb suspended by a ribbon and mining hammers crossed divided by three ships) surmounted by the Royal Crown and surrounded by ornamentation inspired by Maori carvings." The Halfcrown is a quite large coin at 32 mm in diameter and considered very collectable.

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