Singapore Shorts: New Singapore Coins

In Singapore by Jaclynn Seah0 Comments

One of the big news from last week is that Singapore is releasing new coin designs in 2013! It’s apparently been 28 years since we’ve had new coins (the last time we changed them was way back in 1985), and since we revamped our notes back in 1999, it’s probably about time for a new series of coins.

Here they are, what do you think? For more on the Third Series, check out the MAS website here.

New Singapore Coins 2013: Series 3

They feature various local landmarks on them that represent Singapore, and I think they’ve done a pretty decent job picking out these well-known landmarks. If they had picked this theme later on, it might need to include the new skyline landmarks like the Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands for example.

  • $1 – naturally our Merlion symbol gets the highest denomination coin as Singapore’s symbol. It’s also a common theme throughout the coins, and I kinda like how they treated that bit of the border design
  • 50 cent – those are cranes from Keppel harbour, representative of our ever-busy port and symbol of our economic prowess
  • 20 cent – who can miss Changi Airport’s control tower, our world-famous airport and a sight for home-sick eyes when I fly back from a trip
  • 10 cent – these are our HDB flats, where most Singaporeans live in. These are just gonna get higher and higher as our population rises…
  • 5 cent – the Esplanade, or the Durian, which I thought was a pleasant surprise to show as it’s an arts space, and traditionally the arts has never ranked that high in Singapore’s pursuits. It is a pretty iconic building though, perhaps that’s why

Here’s a video by MAS with more about this series:

My first reaction was probably like many people who saw the gold-silver colour of the $1 coin and thought… 1 Euro? (sidebar: I never knew that the various Euro countries had a different pattern depicting their nation on the back!)

But on further scrutiny, I think the new design is actually kinda pretty. Clean cut, needs some getting used to though. I’m so used to our current currency (which is about as old as I am, hurhur) that these new ones look a little like funhouse tokens to me.

Comparing the new series 3 (top row) to the current one Series 2 (bottom row)


The history of our Singapore currency is actually something I never thought very much about, till I headed over to the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s website to find out more. Here are our past coins series for reference:

Series 2: Local Flora and Fauna

Series 1: 2 Paddy Stalks on the left side


Some fun things I found out while doing some research:

Did you know Singapore has a museum dedicated to currency? It’s called the Singapore Coins and Notes Museum and it’s a joint thing by the MAS and Singapore Mint. I never knew, it’s in the Chinatown area at 40 Pagoda Street, and I’ll have to check that out when I’m in the area! It’s open daily from 10am – 8pm and costs $10/adults and $6/children. They’re closed till 28 feb 2013 for the Chinese New Year though.

MAS has pretty detailed info about Singapore currency online, check out their website here for more. The Third Series has its own microsite here.

The Singapore Mint is another source of interesting currency-related info. In addition, they do make a lot of weird stuff, especially around the Chinese New Year period (here’s an old post of some of the weird things they had on sale). On the plus side, you might score a free ticket to the SCNM above if you invite friends to check out their website…)

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