Jul 08, 2013

    Hard to get used to new 50-cent coin

    THE new series of Singapore coins put into circulation on June 25 will take some getting used to, going by the initial public reception.

    The main issue, said several business owners and members of the public whom My Paper spoke to yesterday, was how similar the new 50-cent coin felt in heft and size to the 20-cent coin from the previous series.

    Ms Caren Tan, 50, who runs a newsstand at HDB Hub in Toa Payoh, said: "It's confusing as the old 50-cent coin is much bigger. We must be careful when collecting money (from customers)."

    Mr C. H. Chong, 28, who works as an engineer, said he will "take some time to get used to" the new 50-cent coin.

    Coffee-shop owner Kenneth Lee, 52, said that about 10 patrons who received the new coins did not recognise them at first glance. He said: "We may have to wait a month or two before customers become familiar with the new coins."

    The new coins, called the Third Series, will progressively replace the current series over the next four years.

    The second series was launched in 1985 and is also known as the Garden Series for its depictions of plants and flowers of Singapore.

    However, many people praised the designs of the new coins and the progressive sizing according to denomination, with the 5-cent coin being the smallest, and the $1 coin being the largest.

    Civil servant C. W. Tan, 53, said the designs are "impressive" and "truly represent" Singapore, through depictions of notable landmarks like the Merlion and Changi Airport.

    Some who encountered the new coins felt that they resembled other countries' currencies.

    Sales manager Nurulhuda Najib, 26, said the new $1 coin is similar in appearance to the 2-euro coin, which also sports the gold-and-silver look.

    Mr Anthony Tan, director of Monetarium, a coin dealership in The Adelphi, said it is only a matter of time before people get used to the new coins.

    "When the second series was launched, people accepted it and moved with the times," he said.

    The new coins are made of multi-ply plated steel and are generally lighter, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on its website.

    To raise public awareness of the new coins, MAS has set up a Facebook page at