Commemorative coins are issued by countries around the world to mark significant national events, be they cultural, historical or political. While some may be issued as limited-edition “circulating commemoratives”, which can be used alongside regular currency, other commemorative coins are known as Non-Circulating Legal Tender (NCLT) and designed for use as souvenirs or collectors’ items rather than commerce. Rare commemorative notes and coins eventually become prized items of high value among collectors.
Two examples of these special limited-edition coins have been released in Singapore and Perth over the past few weeks.
From Black-and-White to Silver-and-Gold
In Singapore, a unique commemorative coin design has just been unveiled. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) are issuing three coins to commemorate the arrival of Kai Kai and Jia Jia, a pair of giant pandas who have just been welcomed to the Singapore Zoo amidst nationwide excitement. Of course, these commemorative coins also highlight a wider issue, namely the importance of conserving this highly endangered species and others like it. The following three coins are being issued by the MAS:
$2 Cupro-Nickel Proof-Like Coin – This 38.7mm-diameter coin will feature an image of the panda couple in their natural habitat, with their names engraved in Chinese characters. Singapore’s National Coat of Arms and the year 2012 are engraved on the other side of this commemorative coin. Only 10 000 pieces will be minted.
$2 Cupro-Nickel Proof-Like Colour Coin – This coin features the same design with full colour application, and will also have a mintage of just 10 000 pieces.
$5 Silver Proof Colour Coin – This is a particularly special commemorative coin, with a unique oval shape (45mm x 31mm) making it the first of its kind in the country. The 31.1g silver coin features full colour application, and once again, only 10 000 pieces will be minted.
For serious collectors, the MAS has also minted 3000 coveted three-in-one coin sets.
Interestingly enough, Kai Kai and Jia Jia are not the only giant pandas to appear on commemorative coins in the past month; the beautiful black-and-white bear has also made an appearance Down Under…
Forty Years of International Friendship
In August, Australia’s Perth Mint released a 28.3g silver coin to commemorate the country’s co-operation and friendship with the People’s Republic of China. The Commonwealth of Australia officially established diplomatic relations with China in 1972, and now 40 years down the line, this commemorative coin is designed to celebrate the ever-growing bond between the two nations.
While the obverse side of this coin features Queen Elizabeth II and coin denomination, the reverse side features the Australian and Chinese flags with full colour application, and below that, the national symbols of each country, namely the kangaroo and the giant panda. The commemorative coin reads “China and Australia 40 Years” in English and Chinese.
Ron Currie of the Perth Mint told press that over the past 40 years the Mint has become a prominent supplier of coins to China, and that this latest commemorative coin is a “fitting patriotic tribute”. These commemorative coins have been issued as legal tender, but their very limited mintage of 5000 pieces gives them a value of $99 among collectors!
- Creative Commons image from Flickr
Nicky Warner is a freelance writer with a special interest in all types of design work, from the fashion world to the financial realm. Nicky has just opened a forex account and was researching international currencies when she stumbled upon the inspiration for this post.