Proof 1/2 Crown, Issued by New Zealand, 1953
Minted by Royal Mint, London

Obverse Description

Laureate bust right; around, + QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND; artist's initials incuse on neck truncation, MG (Mary Gillick)

Reverse Description

Shield of Arms of the Dominion of New Zealand on their shield (quartered with the Southern Cross, a wheat sheaf, a lamb suspended by a ribbon and mining hammers crossed divided by three ships) surmounted by the Royal Crown and surrounded by ornamentation inspired by Maori carvings; around, NEW ZEALAND HALF CROWN; below, 1953; in small letters to right of date the artist's initials K.G. ([George] Kruger Gray)

Edge Description



'New Zealand - 250,000 crowns, 120,000 halfcrowns, 250,000 florins, 200,000 shillings, 1,200,000 sixpences, 4,000,000 threepences, 2,400,000 pennies and 120,000 halfpence were struck.

All bore on the obverse the uncrowned effigy of Her Majesty by Mrs. Gillick, O.B.E., together with the incritpion "QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND". The reverse designs of the denominations from the halfpenny to the halfcrown were unchanged, but the reverse design of the crown was new.

It consisted of a Maori carving, surmounted by the crowned Royal Cypher, all between five-pointed stars, representing the Southern Cross, and the inscription "NEW ZEALAND CROWN 1953". Mr. T.H. Paget modelled the design in plaster according to a drawing from New Zealand. The design is illustratyed in Plate A, Fig. 9. 7,000 specimen sets of all denominations were also supplied in cases.'

On the death of King George VI in 1952, Princess Elizabeth became Elizabeth II. She was Head of the Commonwealth and queen of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon. Her coronation was held on 2 June 1953 and her portrait, by Mary Gillick, appears on the New Zealand coinage from that year.

More Information