SINGAPORE: Singapore will have a whole new set of coins in circulation by the middle of this year.
The current Second Series coins were first introduced in 1985 and featured local plants and flowers, depicting Singapore as a garden city.
But they’ll soon make way for the Third Series featuring five of Singapore’s national icons and landmarks — the Merlion, Port of Singapore, Changi Airport, Public Housing and the Esplanade.
For example, HDB flats — home to more than 80 per cent of Singaporeans — will be featured on the 10—cent coin... and the Esplanade on the 5—cent coin.
"Coins reflect the events, persons or symbols significant to a nation. The new series coins depict local icons and landmarks that are familiar to Singaporeans and reflect various aspects of Singapore’s progress as a nation," said Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Each coin denomination has an electro—magnetic signature, which allows vending machines to detect counterfeit and foreign coins.
The one—dollar coin contains additional security features such as its bi—metallic composition and laser mark micro—engraving in the shape of Singapore’s national flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim.
The new coins will have larger denomination numerals for easy identification and features to facilitate identification by the visually—impaired.
The coins are progressively sized by denomination, with the 5—cent coin being the smallest and one—dollar coin being the largest.
Mrs Foo—Yap Siew Hong, Assistant Managing Director of MAS, said, "The Second Series coins have been in use for more than 25 years. There will be a period of adjustment as we all get comfortable with the new coins. MAS will continue to work closely with our stakeholders to smoothen the transition."
MAS says it has been working with public transport operators to ensure that coin—operated machines at MRT/LRT stations are calibrated to accept both the current and new series coins before the launch.
It has also been working with businesses with coin—operated facilities such as vending machine operators and supermarkets to prepare them for the launch.
And to ensure a smooth transition, the current series will continue to be legal tender, as they are phased out over the next four years.
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