New Zealand two-dollar coin

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Two dollars
New Zealand
Value 2.00 New Zealand dollars
Mass 10.00 g
Diameter 26.50 mm
Thickness 2.70 mm
Edge Security
Composition Copper-aluminium-nickel (Cu 92%, Al 6%, Ni 2%)
Years of minting 1990 - present
Catalog number -
Design Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand
Designer Ian Rank-Broadley
Design date 1999
Design An eastern great egret or kotuku (Ardea alba modesta)
Design date 1990

The New Zealand two-dollar coin is the largest-denomination coin of the New Zealand dollar. It was introduced along with the one-dollar coin in 1990. Both are made from an alloy of aluminium and brass. It is the largest and heaviest coin in circulation, weighing ten grams and measuring 26.5 millimetres in diameter. Its thickness is 2.7 mm, only 0.4 mm thinner than the one-dollar coin, thus it is the second-thickest coin in the country's circulation.[1]


A two dollar banknote was used in New Zealand from the start of the dollar in 1967 until 1991 when the coins became widely circulated.

The original ideas to produce one- and two-dollar coins were proposed in 1986[2] because of ongoing inflation which had lowered the value of the dollar and would cause the demonetisation of the one and two cent coins in 1988. From its first year until 1998 the coin featured on its obverse the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by the British-Palestinian sculptor Raphael Maklouf. It had the text ELIZABETH II on the left of the portrait, NEW ZEALAND on the right and the date at the bottom.[3]

The effigy was replaced in 1999 by a portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley, which had been introduced to the coins of the pound sterling in 1998. It reversed the position of the writing, moving the Queen's name to the right and the country's name to the left.[4] The reverse features an eastern great egret (Ardea alba modesta) (Maori: kotuku). It is sacred to New Zealand's indigenous Māori people, and highly endangered within the country, only inhabiting the Okarito Lagoon on the South Island.[2] This continues the theme of birds among the dollar coins; the one-dollar coin has a kiwi, unique to New Zealand, on its reverse. The edge is fully milled, unique amongst New Zealand's current currency.

The 1997 NZ $2 coin was recalled quickly and destroyed due to an error that resulted in vending machines and parking meters rejecting them. This was due to the metal composition of the coin being slightly different to previous years, meaning that the conductivity of the 1997 coin was irregular. As most coin mechanisms use conductivity to verify a coin, this discrepancy resulted in widespread rejection of the coin.[5]

Minting figures[edit]

According to figures from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand no two-dollar coins were issued from 1992 to 1996, or in 2000, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009 or 2010.[6]

  • 1990: 30,000,000
  • 1991: 10,000,000
  • 1997: 1,000,000
  • 1998: 6,000,000
  • 1999: 5,000,000
  • 2001: 5,000,000
  • 2002: 6,000,000
  • 2003: 6,000,000
  • 2005: 5,000,000
  • 2008: 8,000,000
  • 2011: 8,000,000

In total $180,000,000 worth of two-dollar coins have been minted (90 million coins).