Sunday, May 26, 2013

New Singapore Coin Designs in 2013

Singapore is a small island city-state located in Southeast Asia, just off the southern tip of Malaysia (near Indonesia and Australia). It spent the first half of the 20th century as a British colony, but gained its independence and became the Republic of Singapore in 1965. Singapore's current population is around 5 million people.

The 20, 10, 5, and 1 cent coins from
Singapore's first series (1967-1984)
Singapore issued its first independent coins in 1967. These coins, known as the "first" or "marine series", primarily featured images of marine life local to Singapore (including a lionfish, seahorse, and swordfish). Neighboring Australia and New Zealand had both started using coins with similar designs featuring important or well-known local fauna only a year prior (1966). And the Cayman Islands' first coins, issued in 1972, are again quite similar.

The 20, 10, 5, and 1 cent coins from
Singapore's second series (1985-2012)
In 1985, a new series of coins was released. This second, or "floral", series (in use through 2012) included a redesign of the reverse to include the Singapore coat-of-arms and "Singapore" in the country's 4 official languages - English, Malay, Mandarin (Chinese), and Tamil. The obverses contain images of local plant life, including the Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid (Singapore's national flower), Star Jasmine, and the Yellow Allamanda.

The coins of Singapore's third series
starting in 2013 (Images from the
Monetary Authority of Singapore)
In 2013, Singapore will release their third series of circulating coins. The new coins feature images of important or iconic Singapore landmarks, such as the Port of Singapore (one of the 5 busiest ports in the world), the Changi Airport, and the Esplanade at the Theatres on the Bay center for performing arts. Singapore stopped minting a 1-cent coin in 2002, so this new series will only contain 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent, and 1 dollar coins. The 1 dollar coin in the third series will be bi-metallic for the first time, and include laser-etching to make it more difficult to counterfeit. (It also features the image of a merlion, an important mythical figure for Singapore.)

For collectors, the new series is a welcome addition to the coins of Southeast Asia. We look forward both to adding this new set to our collections, and making sure to fill in any holes we might have from the first and second series coins.