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Changes to New Zealand's 'Silver' coins?

Changes to New Zealand's 'Silver' coins?

The Reserve Bank today announced details of proposals to modernise New Zealand's 'silver' coloured coins. The Reserve Bank emphasised that no decisions have been made, and is now seeking feedback from the public. The Bank expects to make final decisions in early 2005. If changes are to occur, they will be implemented in mid-2006.

The proposals are:

* the current 50, 20 and 10 cent coins would be made smaller, and of a lighter and lower-cost plated steel; and

* the 5 cent coin would be taken out of circulation.

The $1 and $2 coins will be retained, as will the existing images on the 50, 20 and 10 cent coins, including the Queen.

Reserve Bank Currency Manager Brian Lang said "Our silver coins are among the largest and heaviest in the world. Due to past high inflation, our 5 cent coin is now worth less than half what a cent was worth back in 1967. The proposals issued today would give New Zealand a coherent and logical set of coins that would be more convenient for the public, easier for those handling coin in bulk, such as banks and security firms, and less costly to manufacture, saving annually about $2 million.

"In preparing these proposals the Reserve Bank has commissioned research and consulted extensively with community groups, commercial interests, and those who handle coin in bulk. Nonetheless, there may be aspects that we haven't considered yet, and we are very keen to hear from the public and from groups with a particular interest in the nation's coinage.

"Feedback can be provided by emailing silvercoin@rbnz.govt.nz by 4 February 2005 or by writing to:

Silver Coin Review Reserve Bank of New Zealand P O Box 2498 Wellington

"To stimulate discussion, we have prepared a pamphlet, Changing New Zealand's 'silver' coins, which shows the proposed new coin sizes and explains what's been suggested and why. Copies can be obtained from the Reserve Bank by phoning 0800 426467, or go to http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/silvercoin

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