November 10, 2011 – History was made on Monday 3 October 2011 when the Minister of Finance, Faumuina Tiatia Fa’aolatane Liuga unveiled the new circulating coins for Samoa. “It has been over 40 years since we changed our coins. I am honored to take part in this important milestone for Samoa. These coins are a true reflection of what Samoa is today”, said the Minister.
The new coins each featuring the effigy of His Highness, The Head of State, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi on one side, are smaller in size, lighter in weight and feature new designs portraying our environment, culture and traditions. On the reasons of why the coins are changing the Minister explained: “Well, a lot has changed since 1967. For instance: The prices of metals used in coin production have increased substantially making the minting of coins more and more expensive. As a result, central banks around the world have changed the metal composition of coins. This has significantly reduced the cost of minting.
“Secondly, we can reduce the size of coins and this has been the trend in many countries. Smaller and lighter coins are much cheaper to mint and easier to carry around. Also, the handling costs are also reduced. Thus, the main motivation for our coin reform is to introduce smaller sized coins that are relatively cheaper to produce and more convenient for the general public and business community to use. “
The new coins were issued into circulation on 4 October 2011. The new and old coins will co-circulate for about 3 months until 29 December 2011. This gives the Central Bank time to work with the commercial banks and the public on the logistics of extracting the old coins from circulation and replacing them with the new.
The public is encouraged to locate all of their old coins and take them into their banks to exchange for new coins because after 29 December 2011 they will no longer be accepted.
The new coins featured new designs for the 1 tala and 10, 20, and 50 sene and a new 2 tala coin replacing the 2 tala banknote.
The Royal Australian Mint worked with the Central Bank of Samoa to design and produce the new coinage for Samoa.
For more information on the Royal Australian Mint, please click here.