10 Facts About the S’pore Coins Before They Become Obsolete When We Go Cashless


Last Updated on 2020-11-24 , 6:04 pm

When was the last time you fed your piggy banks with some jiggly coins?

Well, this could be the time to open up your savings and you may just find some treasure in your savings.

As we move towards the cashless society, let’s take a trip down memory lane with a dedication to the little things that make our wallet heavy (and helping us feel richer at times).

If you prefer to know more about Singapore notes instead, you might want to watch this video we’ve done instead:

Still here cuz a coin is your thing? Well, here goes.

1. History first

Remember the history lessons where the teacher will speak of banana money, barter trades and Chinese coins? It made us think (or at least I did) that our grandfather has been using them even after independence.

And then one day the Singapore Dollars was born, but no one knows when.

Well, Singapore had her first coins in 1967, shortly after Singapore gained independence.

And, since then, three series of coins have been published. The coins have evolved in many ways, from the well-defined design to even having security features.

Who knew a coin would have so many features?

2. Hidden Features Of Current Coins

The third series has the technology of customised electromagnetic signature and bi metallic composition to protect us.

This means that under the microscope, you would be able to see a dense micro pattern of circles and our coins are made of two different metals.

So very hard to make fake money.

Also, you know how sometimes we get mixed up with the 20-cents coins and the 50-cents coins because they look the same?

Well, MAS worked with the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped while they were developing the coins.


And turns out, the 50-cents coins have a micro-scalloped edge pattern, a circle of beads along the rim of the coins and is thicker compared to the 20-cents coins. Go feel it for yourself!

The First series was a mark of our independence from the British colonial ruling, with designs such as swordfish, seahorse, and lionfish imprinted on them.

The second series was a mark to showcase our garden city and hence the theme of florals and faunas are found on the coins

3. Don’t act smart

When the new $1 coin came out, there were many photos circulating about the “removable” parts of the new coin.

But hey, you can only dislodge it when extreme force is deliberately applied to it, so don’t worry about handing over a ring the next time you make a purchase.


By the way, if you do this and post the picture online, the police might just come find you.

It’s an offence to mutilate Singapore currencies.

4. Treasure Hunt

Check your grandparents’ biscuit box of coins and if you find a 1 cent coin!

Okay, I’m kidding, you probably have some yourself.

It might be useless now but who knows, it might have value in the near future.

There are websites online that allow you to exchange it for cash, after all.


Don’t say we never share tips to become richer!

5. Don’t be annoying

While you look through the biscuit tins, you might be tempted to go down to the cai png store and pay them with your coins. Don’t go down with a bag of coins, you could be scolded.

The limit for coins transactions, according to MAS is 10 coins per transactions.

Which mean, no more than ten 10-cents coins or ten 20-cents coins in every transaction. No more paying for your plate of rice with thirty 30 cent-coins anymore.

6. $1 coins shape and design

Take a look at the $1 coin, don’t you find it weird that the shape is slightly different from the coins we have in our wallet?


Well, rumour has it that our founding father, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew was advised by a Feng Shui master that a Chinese Bagua had to be carried by households to protect against bad vibes from the constructions of the MRT lines downtown.

Well, it is logically impossible to give everyone one Chinese Bagua, so what better way to do so through the daily necessities of a coin?

7. Spot the difference

Go take one old $1 coin, the new $1 coin and place them side by side. Notice anything different about them?

Our $1 coin may actually be holding more secrets than you know! The next time the cai png auntie give you $1 change, compare it with the other $1 coins, and you will realise that the logo of the coins is different!

Speculations have stated that this could be due to the older one look like a sad face, while the new one is simply a happy face. We wouldn’t want a sad economy too right.

MAS, on the other hand, released a statement saying that its accordance with the change in state logo.

Well, we leave it up to you on which to believe.

8. Gift a Coin

Running out of gift ideas for your girlfriend? Give her a coin.


Well, not just any coins. Singapore Mint actually sell specially designed coins that might require you to break your piggy banks and take out the coins to buy it.

Prices can range from SGD25 to SGD16K.

Hint: buy this when you confirm she is the one, can become your heirloom and tell your grandchildren’s how their grandfather met grandmother.  Wink wink.

9. Jewellery coins

If you can’t bring yourself to simply gift a coin because you want something more special for your special girl.

She loves jewellery. And she loves money too.

So you think…what about the best of both worlds?

Pro tip: Don’t try making jewellery out of coins.

If you remember, it’s a criminal offence under the currency act to “mutilate, destroy or deface” the Singapore currency and you could be fined up to $2,000.

Our overseas friend tried to creative and implemented our coins as part of a jewellery collection and well, things didn’t go sparkly for him

And also, displaying your money will increase your chances of robbery.

10. Mint Museum

No, I am not joking. Or to be more exact, the Singapore Coins and Notes Museum.

Yes, there is a museum that displays all sorts of money. Don’t bother planning to rob here when you are broke though.

The museum showcases the highlights of our Singapore coins and how it has transformed from colonial times to where we are today.

Who says Singapore is boring?

The Singapore Coins and Notes Museum is relocating to a new location at the time of writing, but hey, maybe it could be your next “Instagram-worthy” spot.

Featured Image: Triple_D Studio / Shutterstock.com