On 10 July 1967, New Zealand's former pre-decimal pound currency, pegged to the British pound, was changed to a decimal dollar at a rate of two dollars to a pound. Therefore, 10 cents was worth a twentieth of a pound. The 10 cent coin replaced the shilling coin.
The coin was made of cupronickel, 23.62 mm in diameter, and weighed 5.66 grams. Composition: 75% copper, 25% nickel. It included the word "shilling" for the years 1967, 1968 and 1969; this was dropped in 1970.
The old 10 cent coins were demonetised on 1 November 2006. Many were melted.
At centre within Maori rafter patterns, a Maori carved head (known as a koruru); above, the denomination 10. Below the mask in tiny letters, the designer's initials JB (for [Reginald George] James Berry).
With the introduction of decimal currency, 10 cents was equal to one shilling of the earlier (pre-decimal) currency. The two coins were identical in size and shillings remained in circulation (and legal tender) in parallel with the new coins until they were demonetised together with the large 10 cents on 31 October 2006 (when a smaller 10 cents coin was introduced instead).
To assist the public in the transition, the old denomination of ONE SHILLING was also displayed on the new coins issued in the first three years after decimalisation (1967 to 1969).