When decimal currency was introduced in New Zealand on 10 July 1967, there was no new circulating denomination with the size and specifications of the old one crown piece, in which only commemorative coins had been issued (the new fifty cents were equivalent in value but not in size). Until the introduction of the smaller circulating dollar coin in 1990, New Zealand issued crown-sized commemoratives with a one dollar denomination such as this one. Later crown-sized commemoratives are denominated at five dollars.
In 1983 there were two large one dollar coin issued; this one commemorates 50 years since the introduction of New Zealand coinage.
Crowned and draped young bust of Queen Elizabeth II facing right (effigy known as the "Second Portrait", by Arnold Machin).
The Queen wears the "Girls of Great Britain and Ireland" diamond tiara, a wedding gift from Queen Mary (Her Majesty's grandmother) in 1947 - which she also has on the Rank-Broadley and the Gottwald portraits.
Around, the monarch's legend and the date: ELIZABETH II NEW ZEALAND 1983.
Crowned Coat of Arms of New Zealand supported by two standing figures (European female carrying a flag and a Māori warrior carrying a spear). Below, various historic New Zealand coins - the designs of five pre-decimal and four decimal coins (half crown, florin, shilling, threepence, sixpence, two cents, ten cents, twenty cents, fifty cents).
Around above, 1933 NEW ZEALAND COINAGE 1983. Below the Coat of Arms, the denomination ONE DOLLAR.