The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RFB) on Thursday unveiled lighter and smaller 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c and $1 coins. The series of coins will enter circulation beginning January 13 to coincide with Fiji’s 40th anniversary of decimal currency.
The coins bear the same designs as the old to help ease in the transition, but varied edges have been introduced for the 5, 20, and 50 cent coins. They have plain, interrupted serrations, and rough edges, respectively, to better identify each coin series.
RFB announced the coinage changes in September and phased out its 1c and 2c coins in mid-October as part of a cost savings plan.
"If we were to produce the same quantity of our current coins, it would have cost us approximately $8 million more. We saved approximately $5 million by not minting the 1 and 2 cents coins and a further $3 million by reducing the size, weight and metal composition," Governor Narube said.
"The benefits do not end there. Due to the significant reduction in size and weight of these new coins, individuals and businesses will save substantial costs in terms of transportation, handling and storage," Narube added.
The replaced coins will be legal tender until April 1, but may still be exchanged after at the Reserve Bank of Fiji.
Governor Narube also revealed the Royal Canadian Mint, who has produced past Fiji coins, was awarded a contract to mint a five year supply of the new coins for approximately $7.8 million.