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Coins from exotic places: Singapore, the asian tiger

By Fahani on the

This week we bring you a new post summing up the coins from a country, as we already did with MaltaFinlandGermany or Lithuania. In this case we have chosen a small country that is emerging with a lot of strength and aspires to become the new Silicon Valley, we are talking about Singapore.

Singapore Coins

The island was a British territory by a long period of its history, then, after the second world war, it went under Japanese possession. Finally after a few negotiations it obtained its independence the 9th of August of 1965, day in which it was proclaimed the Republic of Singapore.

First Series Of 1967

In 1967, the first coin series where introduced with denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents and 1 dollar. Except the coin of 1 cent, minted in a copper-zinc alloy, for the all rest of the coins the copper-nickel alloy was used. Also all the coins in the series had a common reverse in which represents the rice ear along with the name SINGAPORE and the year of mint rounded by the facial value.

For the obverse of each of the coins images of the fauna of the island where used: Oriental darter, seahorses, swordfish, lion fish and the lion from Singapore, for the coins of 5, 10, 20, 50 cents and 1 dollar respectively. Being the 1 cent coin the exception to the rule since they represented the social housings that are typical on the capital.

Second Series Of 1985

In 1985 a new serie of the same denominations was introduced, although that was the only thing that did not change, since the alloys, sizes and designs where different. In this case a common obverse was selected in which the shield of Singapore was represented rounded by the inscription Singapore in the four official languages of the country:

  • Tamil: சிங்கப்பூர்(left)
  • Malayo: Singapura (up)
  • Mandarin Chinese: 新 加 坡 (right)
  • English: Singapore (down)

This second series had a modification after 1992, in which the design of the common face was changed in order to start using a new version of the Singapore shield.

New Coins Series Of 2013

Around mid 2013 the authorities of the country decided to renovate the whole series of coins circulating, getting rid of the mint of the coin of 1 cent facial value due its low usage.

The new coins of Singapore have a common obverse with the shield of the country and typical from its coins. On the reverse five of the national icons of Singapore are used and some of its points of interest.

For the 5 cents coin, minted in brass and steel, they choose the Esplanade, the emblematic center for performing arts in Singapore.

The 10 cents one represents the Public Housing, the house of more than 80 per cent of Singapore citizens. This coin is the same as the ones of 20 and 50 cents and its minted in steel and nickel.

Without a doubt another of the most known places in Singapore is the Changi Airport, considered by many one of the best airports of the world.

Of course, the authorities of the country could not leave the Port of Singapore aside, one of the main sources of wealth and growth of the country, being one of the most actives in the world. Managing 23 million containers each year.

Finally in this series we find a new bimetallic coin, in this case the 1 Dollar coin. In this case it represents the Merlion, a traditional symbol from Singapore.

Lunching video of the new coin series:

Collecting Coins

On top of the normal circulating coins, Singapore as most of the countries has some special mints of coins in precious metals destinated to collectors.

There are mints for different facial values, being the coins of 1, 5 and 10 dollars the most known for being the most affordable for collectors. They are proof coins minted in silver 999 and very small number of issues, barely 8000 items in some of them, which makes them even more desirables for the collectors of all over the world.

Among this kind of mints it is important to stand out the series dedicated to celebrate the beauty of the more than 200 species of orchids that at some point bloomed in Singapore. Minted also in silver and with a characteristic coloured finish. Not for nothing Singapore has one of the biggest botanic gardens of orchids of the world with more than 20000 plants.

Few 1 Dollar coins:

Few of 5 Dollars:

You can obtain more info about all the Singapore minted coins on the websitke of their mint house.