Why Stop at Round? | Unique Coins from Around the World

May 8, 2013

in Other

Round, square, rectangular, triangular and scalloped—coins around the world come in all shapes and sizes.

In 1994, Jamaica began minting a seven-sided $1 coin. Fifteen years later, the country issued a new round $1 coin imprinted with the shape of the seven-sided coin to retain the unique character of the currency. Barbados, Belize, Britain, Fiji, Gambia and many other countries continue to use multi-sided coins.

Until recently, Maldives issued several denominations of scalloped-edge coins, as did Swaziland, Spain, Bhutan, Israel and Tanzania. Today, Samoa is one of the few countries minting new coins—the $2 tala—in a scalloped shape.

In many countries, coins have been issued with holes in the center to reduce the cost of producing the coin and to distinguish them from others of similar size. Japan’s 5-yen and 50-yen coins, for example, each have holes in the center, as does Papua New Guinea’s 1 kina and Egypt’s 25 piastres coins.

Square and rectangular coins have been in circulation throughout the world for centuries, and today several countries continue to use these unique shapes, including Aruba, which issues several denominations of square coins, and Bangladesh, which issues a five poisha square coin.

Although all of these coins have been issued for circulation, an even greater variety of coins are minted for commemorative purposes, and these coins are among the most beautiful—and unusual—ever produced.

Somalia has been producing collectible coins for years, from the 2007 multi-colored motorcycle $1 coin collection, to the 2010 collection of automobile-shaped $1 coins. In 2012, Somalia came out with a set of $1 coins shaped like guitars—including a USA map guitar rumored to be fashioned after a guitar used by the rock band Cheap Trick.

As the world’s leading provider of money processing services, Brink’s helps governments, mints and banks across the globe protect, store and process coins of every type. For more information, visit our website.

Previous post:

Next post: