Currency Wiki
This article is about the coins minted from 1972 to 1983. For the coins minted since 2003, see Cook Islands 1 cent coin.
Cook Islands 1 tene 1983
1983 coin
General information

Flag of the Cook Islands Cook Islands


0.01 dollar



Measurements and composition

2.07 g


17.53 mm


1.2 mm








see text


Elizabeth II, monarch title, state title, year


Taro leaf, value

v · d · e

The 1 tene coin (often Anglicized as 1 cent) is a former circulation and commemorative piece of the Cook Islands. It was issued by the Government of the Cook Islands in three types from 1972 to 1983, each during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II (1926–; r. 1952–). All three were struck at foreign mints, namely the Royal Australian Mint in nearby Australia and the private Franklin Mint in the United States.

The first tene coin was introduced in 1972 and then struck annually until 1977. It was then manufactured again in 1979 and 1983 before being discontinued. Non-circulating commemorative pieces of the denomination were also introduced in 1978 and 1981. The first was issued to celebrate the 250th birthday of James Cook (1728–1779), a prominent British navigator and the namesake of the Cook Islands, while the second was released to commemorate the wedding of Prince Charles (1948–) and Lady Diana Spencer (1961–1997) on July 29, 1981.

All three coins were initially legal tender in their country of origin, each carrying a nominal value of 0.01 Cook Islands dollar, or 0.01 New Zealand dollar. They have since been demonetized, however, and no longer circulate on the Cook Islands. Examples of the first type were minted for circulation from 1972 to 1975 and again in 1983. All other years of the first coin, in addition to the 1978 and 1983 commemoratives, were marketed toward collectors and were not released into general circulation.

The 1 tene piece is similar in composition and size to the contemporary New Zealand cent, being composed of a bronze alloy and measuring 2.07 grams in mass, 17.53 millimeters in diameter, and 1.2 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and like most coins, is round in shape. Both of the piece's rims are raised and undecorated.

The edge of the coin varies by type. The standard type struck from 1972 to 1983 bears a plain edge without any decorations, whereas the commemoratives have plain edges inscribed with special legends. On the 1978 coin celebrating James Cook, the text on the edge reads "1728 · CAPT. JAMES COOK · 1978", the first date representing the year of Cook's birth and the second identifying the date of his 250th birthday. The 1981 piece commemorating the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer instead incorporates the inscription "THE ROYAL WEDDING 29 JULY 1981".

The obverses of each type are identical, featuring designs by British coin and stamp designer Arnold Machin (1911–1999). A right-facing illustration of Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara is displayed in the center, the Gregorian date of minting engraved counterclockwise at the rim below. Inscribed in the opposite direction along the coin's left periphery is the caption "ELIZABETH II", and engraved in the same direction at the right rim is the state title "COOK ISLANDS".

The reverses of the three types feature a common design by James Berry (1906–1979), a coin and stamp designer from New Zealand. The leaf of a taro plant (Colocasia esculenta), a popular crop on the Cook Islands, is displayed in the middle of the piece. A large numeral "1" indicating the coin's face value appears below, the "JB" initials of the artist engraved in small print to the right. On coins struck at the Franklin Mint, a small "FM" mark also appears at the bottom of the reverse.

Around 959,835 examples of the standard type were manufactured from 1972 to 1983. Of these, over 854,500 were struck with a standard finish; 4,172 with a matte finish; 96,344 with a proof finish; and 4,819 with a Brilliant Uncirculated finish. Around 31,764 of the standard and uncirculated coins were distributed in official mint sets and all of the proofs were sold in proof sets by the Government of the Cook Islands.

Around 8,054 examples of the 1978 commemorative were manufactured, including 1,000 matte pieces; 6,287 proofs; and 767 Brilliant Uncirculated coins. All of the proof and uncirculated examples were issued in sets.

Approximately 11,305 of the 1981 coin were produced, including 1,000 matte examples; 9,205 proofs; and 1,100 uncirculated examples. All of the proofs and uncirculated coins were distributed in sets.

Mintages (1972–1983)
Year Mint Mintage
1972 Royal Australian Mint 117,000
1972 Proof 17,000
1973 8,500
1973 Proof 13,000
1974 300,000
1974 Proof 7,300
1975 429,000
1975 Matte Franklin Mint 1,000
1975 Proof 21,000
1975 Uncirculated 2,251
1976 Matte 1,001
1976 Proof 18,000
1976 Uncirculated 1,066
1977 Matte 1,171
1977 Proof 5,986
1977 Uncirculated 1,002
1979 Matte 1,000
1979 Proof 4,058
1979 Uncirculated 500
1983 Royal Australian Mint Unknown
1983 Proof 10,000
Total > 959,835
Mintages (1978)
Year Mint Mintage
1978 Matte Franklin Mint 1,000
1978 Proof 6,287
1978 Uncirculated 767
Total 8,054
Mintages (1981)
Year Mint Mintage
1981 Matte Franklin Mint 1,000
1981 Proof 9,205
1981 Uncirculated 1,100
Total 11,305


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