Value of NZ twenty cent coins in circulation within Australia

Disclaimer: This post falls under random musings.

On my last trip to exchange coins at the bank (which I touched on in this post ‘How to Exchange Coins’) I noticed what seemed an excessive level of New Zealand 20 cent coins in my collection.

Of 353 Australian twenty cent coins ($70.60), I also had 4 New Zealand twenty cent coins.

Australian 20 cent coin NZ 20 cent coin

At this point I started to consider if this ratio was to hold true across all 20 cent coins on issue in Australia then we would have people using (or attempting to use) substantial amounts of NZ coins as legal tender, from there it snowballed. Let the research begin.

The Australian 20 cent coin was issued with the conversion to decimal currency on 14 February 1966, replacing the florin or two shillings. Since this point in time the Royal Australian Mint has issued the following value of coins.

Coin Production

The Mint determines in collaboration with the commercial banks the level of coin production required each year. As such all of the above production goes into circulation. However it is estimated by the mint that coins only remain in circulation for approximately 30 years (few percent decline in circulation each year).

If the above holds true then we can roughly estimate that there is $241 million worth of Australian 20 cent coins on issue or close to 1.2 billion coins. Using the ratio above would mean there are 13,657,167 NZ twenty cent coins (NZD 2,731,433) in circulation within Australia. At yesterday’s exchange rate of AUD/NZD 1.302 this would only equate to AUD 2,097,875, in other words there is a deficit of AUD 633,558 in circulation.

In a future post I will touch on what to do with your foreign coins.

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