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.
There were two large one dollar coins issued in 1986; this one commemorates the Royal Visit of Queen Elizabeth II to New Zealand from 22 February to 2 March 1986.
Crowned bust of Queen Elizabeth II wearing a pearl necklace, facing right (effigy known as the "Third Portrait"); incuse in tiny letters on neck truncation, the designer's initials RDM (for Raphael David Maklouf).
Around, the monarch's legend and the date: ELIZABETH II NEW ZEALAND 1986.
Crowned royal monogram E within a wreath of houhere, clematis, Mt. Cook lilly, rata, pohutukawa, kowhai, kaka beak, manuka and fern fronds. Around above, ROYAL VISIT. Around below, the denomination ONE DOLLAR.