World Coins

Colorful 50-cent coin marks WWI armistice

New Zealand has unveiled the design for its 2018 circulating commemorative 50-cent coin marking the armistice ending World War I.

Coin images courtesy of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

New Zealand will commemorate the 2018 centennial of the armistice after World War I with a limited mintage circulating commemorative 50-cent coin.

The coin, which features an application of color, is scheduled for release Oct. 1 throughout New Zealand.

This coin follows the Anzac coin minted in 2015 to mark the centenary of New Zealand’s efforts in WWI and to support initiatives and events for WW100, New Zealand’s official commemoration program for the war.

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The Armistice coin will have the same specifications as the standard circulating 50-cent coin but does not replace the existing 50-cent coin.

This coin will be legal tender like all the coins issued by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

The bank and NZ Post worked closely with New Zealand artist Dave Burke to create the Armistice coin. As with all the bank’s coin designs, the design was approved by the Palace.

The design features a free-form remembrance wreath, incorporating the silver fern and koru as strong New Zealand elements, surrounding a central red poppy, official symbol of the Returned Services’ Association, a support association for the nation’s military veterans.

Colorized silver ferns on the wreath represent the past, present, and future as well as the three armed forces in New Zealand.

The engraved silver ferns reflect New Zealand’s national identity, and the engraved koru pattern, new beginnings.

A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse.

The coin was minted by the Royal Canadian Mint. The RCM strikes New Zealand’s currently circulating 10-, 20- and 50-cent coins.

For colorized RCM coins, after the coins are struck, color is applied through the high-speed color pad printing process. 

After the coins are stamped with color, they are inspected for quality both visually by a person and by automated checks. Finally, the ink is cured and the coins pass through a furnace for a final cure.

The Armistice plated steel coin weighs 5 grams and measures 24.75 millimeters in diameter. 

To maximize the chance of receiving a coin, and to be fair to everyone, release of the coins will be divided between regions based on population, according to an announcement from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. 

Public pre-orders will be available from Sept. 3, through a special page at the NZ Post website.

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