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Reserve Bank coinage warning

Reserve Bank coinage warning

The Reserve Bank today advised the public that some older 20 cent coins are temporarily causing confusion among some shoppers.

Corporate Affairs Manager Paul Jackman said "In the weeks preceding Christmas demand for cash throughout New Zealand was exceptionally high and to meet that demand the Reserve Bank released a very large volume of coinage. Included were some twenty cent coins that were minted thirteen years ago and then not used until now. These coins were stored undisturbed for over a decade in the Reserve Bank's vaults until they were issued during December 2002.

"It appears that some of these coins, while in storage, over time discoloured slightly from lack of use and the Reserve Bank has now received three reports of people confusing these cupro-nickel coins for two dollar aluminium-bronze coins.

"These twenty cent coins have a very faint yellow colouring near the rims, and it is that which seems to be causing the difficulty. The discoloured twenty cent coins feature a Maori carving, as opposed to a kiwi, and are dated 1990. About 2.5 million of these coins were issued, there being in total about 143 million twenty cent coins in circulation.

"As the coins get used, bouncing around in pockets and purses, the tarnish should wear off, solving the problem. However, in the meantime if people are unsure, they should look closely at the design of the coins and the numbers indicating value.

"The Reserve Bank regrets this confusion and will be reviewing its procedures in relation to holding non-issued coins for long periods of time," Mr Jackman concluded.

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