April 10, 2012 – The Governor of Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI), Denton Rarawa left for Canberra, Australia to officiate at a coining ceremony at the Royal Australian Mint on 29 March 2012 to start the production of new coins for the Solomon Islands.
Before he left Honiara, the Governor released the designs of the five new coins.
“The designs reflect what the people told CBSI they would like to see on their coins in the national coinage survey conducted last year,” Governor Rarawa said. The obverse of all coins features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II designed by Ian Rank-Broadley. This effigy replaces the Raphael Maklouf design used in the old coins.
Each reverse of the new coins features one of four much loved designs that already appear on some of the current coins and there is a new design for the 2 dollar coin. The 2 dollar coin will feature the bokolo, an item of cultural significance for Solomon Islanders.
The reverse designs are:
10 CENTS – SEA SPIRIT – The new 10 cent coin retains the sea spirit design that is on the current 10 cent coin. The design portrays the sea spirit Ngoreru from Temotu province in the Eastern Solomons.
20 CENT – PENDANT – The new 20 cent coin retains the pendant design on the current 20 cent coin. The design depicts a traditional pendant design of Malaita province.
50 CENT – EAGLE – The new 50 cent coin features the eagle design on the current 2 cent coin. The eagle spirit symbolises deity in various communities in Solomon Islands.
$1 DOLLAR – NGUZU NGUZU – The new $1 dollar coin retains the nguzu nguzu design of the current 1 dollar coin. The design portrays a carving of the spirit Nguzu Nguzu from the Western province. It portrays good luck and protection.
$2 DOLLAR – BOKOLO – The design features a bokolo from Western and Choiseul provinces. The bokolo is made from fossilised clam shells and was traditionally used as a form of money. It is featured in the $2 coin represents the many different forms of traditional money used in Solomon Islands.
On 27 January 2012, Governor Rarawa announced that the Solomon Islands’ current coins will be replaced by five attractive new coins in July this year. The five new coins will be launched on 4 July 2012 and will be available from banks on the next day, 5 July 2012. The old 1, 2 and 5 cent coins will no longer be produced.
The Australian Parliamentary Secretary for The Treasury, the Hon Bernie Ripoll MP, stated this partnership was an example of how the Australian Government is committed to strengthening relationships with Pacific countries.
“The Mint’s standing in the Pacific community is to be commended, and through this engagement they have further proved themselves to be experts in coinage reform,” said the Parliamentary Secretary.
This contract is also an important sign for the future of the Mint in the international minting community.
“This is the second international contract that the Mint has completed within a year, which points to a bright future on the international market,” said the Parliamentary Secretary.
“With the Mint’s significant upgrade to its facilities and technology in 2009, it now has the capacity to accept contracts from other countries without encroaching into its normal, day-to-day functions.”
Royal Australian Mint CEO Mr Ross MacDiarmid stated that working on this contract has resulted in long-term benefits for the Mint.
“The Mint is honoured to have been repeatedly engaged to supply new circulating coinage to our Pacific Island neighbours, and be trusted with something as important as creating designs that reflect a country’s culture,” said Mr MacDiarmid. “The Royal Australian Mint has designed and produced coins that are low in cost and reflect a more modern Solomon Islands”.
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