The history of Chatham Islands numismatics
begins in 1999, when the Reserve Bank of New Zealand
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is the central bank of New Zealand and is constituted under the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989. The Governor of the Reserve Bank is responsible for New Zealand's currency and operating monetary policy. The Bank's current Governor is Dr. Alan Bollard...
authorized a private organization, the Chatham Islands Note Corporation
The Chatham Islands Note Corporation was the private organisation that was set up to issue the two series of Chatham Islands notes in 2000 and 2001. It planned to issue coins in 2001, but their activities were curtailed upon the instruction of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. The Chatham Islands...
, to issue banknote
A banknote is a kind of negotiable instrument, a promissory note made by a bank payable to the bearer on demand, used as money, and in many jurisdictions is legal tender. In addition to coins, banknotes make up the cash or bearer forms of all modern fiat money...
s to celebrate that the Chatham Islands
The Chatham Islands are an archipelago and New Zealand territory in the Pacific Ocean consisting of about ten islands within a radius, the largest of which are Chatham Island and Pitt Island. Their name in the indigenous language, Moriori, means Misty Sun...
would have been the first land to enter the third millennium
In contemporary history, the third millennium is a period of time that commenced on January 1, 2001, and will end on December 31, 3000, of the Gregorian calendar. This is the third period of one thousand years in the Anno Domini...
of the common era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...
(although this is not actually true - this honour belongs to Antarctica
. The first island to enter the third millennium would be Millennium Island).
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand gave this authorization under the condition that such notes cannot be declared legal tender
Legal tender is a medium of payment allowed by law or recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation. Paper currency is a common form of legal tender in many countries....
. In other words, these notes were to be used for payment, but only if the seller accepted them: there was no obligation for anyone to accept the notes issued by the Chatham Islands, contrarily to the notes issued by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. These Chatham Islands notes were generally accepted by merchants on the Chatham Islands.
The Chatham Islands Note Corporation was initially based in Christchurch
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the country's second-largest urban area after Auckland. It lies one third of the way down the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula which itself, since 2006, lies within the formal limits of...
, in the South Island
The South Island is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean...
of New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...
. The agent for providing the notes to the numismatic
Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, and related objects. While numismatists are often characterized as students or collectors of coins, the discipline also includes the broader study of money and other payment media used to resolve debts and the...
trade was Leon Morel, FRNSNZ of Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...
, Victoria (Australia)
Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania on Boundary Islet to the north, west and south respectively....
. The Chatham Islands Note Corporation later shifted their base of operations to Waitangi, Chatham Islands
Waitangi is the main port and settlement on the Chatham Islands. It is located on the southern shore of Petre Bay, on the west coast of the main island...
The Chatham Islands dollar (Ch.I.$) was pegged at the same rate as the New Zealand dollar
The New Zealand dollar is the currency of New Zealand. It also circulates in the Cook Islands , Niue, Tokelau, and the Pitcairn Islands. It is divided into 100 cents....
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand clarified that Chatham Islands dollars are not legal tender http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2000/0091162.html
. In particular,
Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Murray Sherwin said:
- These so-called Chatham Island dollars are harmless as a promotional gimmick and as a bit of fun. Also, if people want to use them to undertake transactions, that's fine too, just as one can pay for a service with monopoly play money, sea shells, or bottles of beer, if the seller is happy to receive them.
The Series I
notes were printed in late 1999 in time for release on January 1, 2000. They are printed on Tyvek
Tyvek is a brand of flashspun high-density polyethylene fibers, a synthetic material; the name is a registered trademark of DuPont. The material is very strong; it is difficult to tear but can easily be cut with scissors or a knife...
A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids used in the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular mass, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce production costs...
-type material that is used in the construction
In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...
industry). They were printed by Timely Marketing & Promotions Limited, Christchurch and Dunedin
Dunedin is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the principal city of the Otago Region. It is considered to be one of the four main urban centres of New Zealand for historic, cultural, and geographic reasons. Dunedin was the largest city by territorial land area until...
, New Zealand. There were same-numbered sets produced that came in cardboard folders. These bear a completely different hologram
Holography is a technique that allows the light scattered from an object to be recorded and later reconstructed so that when an imaging system is placed in the reconstructed beam, an image of the object will be seen even when the object is no longer present...
from the currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...
issue. The hologram is a very good security device, as it prevents forgery
Forgery is the process of making, adapting, or imitating objects, statistics, or documents with the intent to deceive. Copies, studio replicas, and reproductions are not considered forgeries, though they may later become forgeries through knowing and willful misrepresentations. Forging money or...
. The designs of the notes have a very strong influence from American currency. They are dual-denominated—in cents
In many national currencies, the cent is a monetary unit that equals 1⁄100 of the basic monetary unit. Etymologically, the word cent derives from the Latin word "centum" meaning hundred. Cent also refers to a coin which is worth one cent....
as well as in Dollar
The dollar is the name of the official currency of many countries, including Australia, Belize, Canada, Ecuador, El Salvador, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States.-Etymology:...
s. There are three printings of this series.
The Series II
notes were printed some time during the year 2000 for release in 2001. They are printed on a cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....
by Chan Wanich Security Printing Company Limited, Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...
. The front of these notes is very similar to the Series I notes, apart from the dates and a few other details. Again, these notes are dual-denominated in Cents and Dollars. There are also three printings of this series. There were also some same-serial numbered sets produced, but these were not
issued in cardboard folders. These have the same hologram as the currency issue.
In 2001, a $5 coin was put into circulation at the same time as the Series II notes. A 5,000 piece issue was planned. Informed of the intention to issue a coin, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand banned the issue (despite the fact that there is no $5 coin in circulation in New Zealand!). The website
A website, also written as Web site, web site, or simply site, is a collection of related web pages containing images, videos or other digital assets. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet...
of the Chatham Islands Note Corporation was also closed down at the same time. However, an estimated 200 pieces ended up in the numismatic trade. There are 2 possible scenarios as to why only around 200 of the Chatham Islands $5 coins are known to exist:
- It is possible that the 5,000 pieces were struck ready to be issued and the coins were confiscated. As a result, around 200 coins 'fell to the floor', as the expression goes, and ended up in the numismatic trade.
- It is also possible that the 200 known pieces had been struck and issued to the numismatic trade (or to Leon Morel) prior to the ban.
The Series I
of notes consisted of the following denominations: $2 (200c), $3 (300c), $10 (1,000c) and $15 (1,500c).
The Series II
of notes consisted of the following denominations: $3 (300c), $5 (500c), $8 (800c), $10 (1,000c) and $15 (1,500c). The Chatham Islands in the only place in the entire Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...
that has put an $8 note into circulation as currency.
To assist collectors and dealers a catalogue numbering system has been provided. Below 'Work' numbers (indicated by the letter 'W') to the items have been assigned for clarity.
The notes of the Series I were issued as negotiable tender for the year 2000, and made of tyvek.
The date '2000' is in the 4 corners. The notes have the map of the Chatham Islands at left of the under-print and Chatham Islands Taiko
The Magenta Petrel or Chatham Island Taiko is a small seabird in the gadfly petrel genus, Pterodroma....
at right. Green frame on the backs of the notes. Printer's name at the bottom on the backs of the notes. A hologram depicts a globe showing the Asia-Pacific
The Pacific Rim refers to places around the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The term "Pacific Basin" includes the Pacific Rim and islands in the Pacific Ocean...
region with '1st' superimposed, an inner circle with the words 'WORLD FIRST' and 'AUTHENTIC' (which can be seen depending on the direction in which a note is tilted), and an outer circle, which has a rainbow pattern going around like a flywheel. The notes of the same-serial numbered folder issue has '1st' printed in white on top of the hologram, which has an interlocking pattern consisting of the year 2000.
$2: The Sea
W1a. Two dollars (200 cents).
- Front: Purple and grey-blue under-print.
- Back: Lobster
Clawed lobsters comprise a family of large marine crustaceans. Highly prized as seafood, lobsters are economically important, and are often one of the most profitable commodities in coastal areas they populate.Though several groups of crustaceans are known as lobsters, the clawed lobsters are most...
, the sea and Chatham Islands Black Robin
The Black Robin or Chatham Island Robin is an endangered bird from the Chatham Islands off the east coast of New Zealand. It is closely related to the New Zealand Robin . It was first described by Walter Buller in 1872. The binomial commemorates the New Zealand botanist Henry H. Travers...
- Theme: The Sea.
W1b. Same-serial numbered folder issue.
$3: The Community
W2a. Three dollars (300 cents).
- Front: As above, but purple and red-pink under-print.
- Back: First motor vehicle, the community and Chatham Islands Black Robin.
- Theme: The Community.
W2b. Same-serial numbered folder issue.
$10: The History
W3a. Ten dollars (1,000 cents).
- Front: As above, but green and yellow-brown under-print.
- Back: The history and Chatham Islands Black Robin.
- Theme: The History.
W3b. Same-serial numbered folder issue.
$15: The Land
W4a. Fifteen dollars (1,500 cents).
- Front: As above, but green and brown under-print.
- Back: Nikau
Nikau is a palm tree, the only palm endemic to New Zealand.-Etymology:Nīkau is a Māori word; in the closely related Eastern Polynesian languages of the tropical Pacific, it refers to the fronds or the midrib of the coconut palm.- Distribution:The Nikau palm is the only palm species endemic to...
palm, Chathams' horse power and Chatham Islands Black Robin.
- Theme: The Land.
W4b. Same-serial numbered folder issue.
(Note: The links to the photos show pictures of W1b to W4b).
The notes of the Series II were issued as negotiable tender for the years 2001 and 2002.
They are made of cotton fibre paper. The date 2001 is in three corners. The notes have an albatross
Albatrosses, of the biological family Diomedeidae, are large seabirds allied to the procellariids, storm-petrels and diving-petrels in the order Procellariiformes . They range widely in the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific...
replacing the map of the Chatham Islands at left of the under-print. Chatham Islands Taiko at right. Olive-green-black frames on the backs of the notes. The currency notes and the ones in the same-numbered sets have computer style numbering in the serial numbers whereas the replacement notes have block numbers in the serial numbers. The hologram of the notes depicts a compass with a wavy pattern in the outer silver area. The map of the Chatham Islands and the Chatham Islands Note Corporation is seen when a note is tilted in one direction and a rock lobster
Jasus edwardsii, the southern rock lobster, red rock lobster, or spiny rock lobster, is a species of spiny lobster found throughout coastal waters of southern Australia and New Zealand including the Chatham Islands. This species is commonly called crayfish or crays in New Zealand and in Māori...
can be seen when the note is tilted in the other direction. The printer name is at the bottom on the backs of the notes.
$3: Horse Racing
W5a. Three dollars (300 cents).
- Front: Pink and yellow under-print.
- Back: Horse racing, Chatham Islands Jockey Club (1873), Woytek's Fool.
- Theme: Horse Racing.
W5b. Same-serial numbered issue.
W5p. As above currency issue, but has the serial number 'A000000'. (Printer's Specimen).
W5r. As above currency issue, but the serial number has a star at the end of it. (Replacement note).
$5: The Ancestors
W6a. Five dollars (500 cents).
- Front: As above, but green and yellow under-print.
- Back: Moriori
Moriori are the indigenous people of the Chatham Islands , east of the New Zealand archipelago in the Pacific Ocean...
s, Woytek's Generations.
- Theme: The Ancestors.
W6b. Same-serial numbered issue.
W6p. As above currency issue, but has the serial number 'A000000'. (Printer's Specimen).
W6r. As above currency issue, but the serial number has a star at the end of it. (Replacement note).
$8: Center - The Message
W7a. Eight dollars (800 cents).
- Front: As above, but lilac and blue under-print.
- Back: A new dawn with the Spring symphony and guardians of Mt Hakepa, Pitt Island. Map of the Chatham Islands.
- Theme: Center - The Message.
W7b. Same-serial numbered issue.
W7p. As above currency issue, but has the serial number 'A000000'. (Printer's Specimen).
W7r. As above, but the serial number has a star at the end of it. (Replacement note).
W8a. Ten dollars (1,000 cents).
- Front: As above, but lilac-blue and green-yellow under-print.
- Back: Abe Jacobs
Abe Jacobs is a retired New Zealand professional wrestler. He was one of the first men to follow fellow New Zealander Pat O'Connor to the United States where, like O'Connor, Jacobs became a major star in the National Wrestling Alliance during the "Golden Age of Wrestling"...
World Champion Wrestler, Woytek's Warrior.
- Theme: Wrestler.
W8b. Same-serial numbered issue.
W8p. As above currency issue, but has the serial number 'A000000'. (Printer's Specimen).
W8r. As above currency issue, but the serial number has a star at the end of it. (Replacement note).
$15: Flying Boat
W9a. Fifteen dollars (1,500 cents).
- Front: As above, but blue, pink and yellow under-print.
- Back: Short Sunderland
The Short S.25 Sunderland was a British flying boat patrol bomber developed for the Royal Air Force by Short Brothers. It took its service name from the town and port of Sunderland in northeast England....
, Woytek's Astronomer.
- Theme: Flying Boat.
W9b. Same-serial numbered issue.
W9p. As above currency issue, but has the serial number 'A000000'. (Printer's Specimen).
W9r. As above currency issue, but the serial number has a star at the end of it. (Replacement note).
- WCSI. Series I Same-serial numbered folder issue (W1b - W4b).
- WCSII. Series II Same-serial numbered issue (W5b - W9b).
These were only issued for Series II (W5 - W9). These have a four digit serial number range from S0001 to S1000.
- WUSI. 4x$3.
- WUSII. 3x$5.
- WUSIII. 3x$8.
- WUSIV. 2x$10.
- WUSV. 2x$15.
- Director of the Corporation / Secretary of the Treasury.
- Series I. Clint MacInnes. John Day.
- Series II. Indecipherable. J. Day.
Error notes are not listed, even though these do exist, nor have the Postal Notes and Postal Order
In the United Kingdom , a Postal Order is used for sending money through the mail. In the United States, this is known as a Postal money order...
s that were issued in the Chatham Islands.
WCI. Brass $5 Coin 1-1/4 inches (30 mm) in diameter
- Obverse: A crude head-and-shoulders portrait of Tommy Solomon (born 1884, died 1933. Popularly believed to have been the last full-blooded Moriori) splitting the date '2001'. The inscription,'FIVE NEW MILLENNIUM DOLLARS' is below the portrait.
- Reverse: Map of the Chatham Islands with '$5' below. It is inscribed, 'CHATHAM ISLANDS NEW ZEALAND TERRITORIES SOUTH PACIFIC'.
WCII. Silver $50 Coin 1.5 inches (38 mm) in diameter
- Obverse: A crude portrait of King George III
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death...
(ruled 1760–1820) based on Benedetto Pistrucci
Benedetto Pistrucci was a distinguished Italian Gem-engraver, medallist and coin-engraver who became Chief-medallist at the Royal Mint in England.-Early life, training and career:...
's portrait as used on the British 1/2 Crown of 1817–20, the 5-shilling (1 Crown) of 1818–20, 1/2 Sovereign of 1817–20, the Sovereign of 1818 and 1820, the 2 pounds and 5 pounds pattern coins of 1820. The monogram 'G III' is split at the forehead level. The inscription, 'CHATHAM ISLANDS' is above the King's portrait. The dates '1760–1820' are inscribed below the chin. The date '2001' appears below the truncation. The inscription, 'FIFTY DOLLAR MILLENNIUM SILVER PIECE' goes from behind the King's portrait around to the front at eye level.
- Reverse: The design is a compass pointing North, a ship, and an 18th Century Royal Navy officer's hat with the number '50' superimposed on the hat. The outer inscriptions are 'LIEUT BROUGHTON
William Robert Broughton was a British naval officer in the late 18th century. As a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, he commanded HMS Chatham as part of the Vancouver Expedition, a voyage of exploration through the Pacific Ocean led by Captain George Vancouver in the early 1790s.-With Vancouver:In...
. BRIG CHATHAM
HMS Chatham was a Royal Navy survey brig that accompanied HMS Discovery on George Vancouver's exploration of the west coast of North America in his 1791–1795 expedition. Chatham was built by King, of Dover and launched in early 1788...
1791'. The inner inscription is 'DISCOVERY OF THE CHATHAM ISLANDS 44 DEG S LAT 176 DEG 20 MIN W LONG'. The inscription 'FIFTY DOLLAR PIECE' appears below the '50'.
- The $50 coin is a dual commemorative: The Millennium and the 210th Anniversary of the British discovery of the Chatham Islands.
- Both the $5 and the $50 coins have milled edges.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand banned the issue of the coin in 2001. There are not more than 25 pieces of the $50 coin known to exist.