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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 20, May 14, 2006, Article 14

WILL AMERICA FOLLOW NEW ZEALAND’S COINAGE LEAD?

Dick Johnson writes: "America is NOT the world leader - at
least not in revitalizing its coinage system. New Zealand is!

New Zealand is the first coin-issuing country in the world to
completely revamp its coinage system for modern economic times.
Not by new designs for old denominations, but by eliminating
obsolete denominations and "remodeling" existing denominations
by smaller and lighter-weight compositions in addition to new
designs.

No problems in New Zealand for rising coinage metal prices.
While other countries around the world face massive melting of
coins in circulation for their metal content, America included,
New Zealand is a step ahead of that! Already solved that problem
by planning ahead.

Sixteen years ago the country abolished one and two-cent coins.
They eliminated the 5-cent coin in spring 2005. The 10, 20 and
50-cent coins are being struck now in steel compositions in
smaller sizes and in modern designs. The $1 and $2 coins are
unaffected, they will continue to be struck in copper nickel
composition.

The dime is now the lowest coin in circulation. All prices are
now quoted in multiples of 10 cents while the cent remains a
"money of account." Contracts and quantity sales and purchases
can be quoted in the old cents – or even fractions parts of a
cent! – but the "transaction price," when the final check is
written, it is in a multiple of a dime.

I predicted last year that treasury departments around the world
will look to New Zealand as a case study of revamping and
modernizing coinage systems (E-Sylum, vol 8, no 14, article 3).
Here is what I said:

‘New Zealand will become a textbook case for Treasury departments
of all modern world nations to watch and study. These nations will
ultimately follow suit in eliminating coin denominations below the
fractional value of ten. The only question is when? More progressive
nations will take this action quicker than backward nations.’

Our own American cent and nickel will shortly be obsolete,
inefficient, unsuitable coins for active circulation in a vibrant
economic system. Rising metal costs for these coin compositions
are now forcing these changes on us faster than anticipated. We
can look to what New Zealand did for their coins to plan our
future coins.

Don't miss reading this latest article on New Zealand’s coins:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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