On 4 February 2018, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka began issuing 5 million 1,000-rupee notes commemorating the 70th Independence Celebration. The note is like B127, but with a Celebrating Diversity logo instead of a butterfly at the lower left front, new vignettes at center front, new date, and serial numbers from S70/1 000001- S70/5 1000000.

Sri Lanka new 1,000-rupee commemorative note

Sri Lanka new 1,000-rupee commemorative note

Sri Lanka new 1,000-rupee commemorative note

Sri Lanka new 1,000-rupee commemorative note

South Africans can expect a new coin and banknote issue with former President Nelson Mandela’s face on it later this year.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) said in a statement the R5 coin and banknotes of all denominations were expected to be introduced on July 18.

“The existing Mandela series of banknotes as well as the existing R5 coin in circulation will remain legal tender and will continue to be issued‚” SARB said on Sunday.

This forms part of Mandela’s centenary birthday celebration. He was born on July 18 1918 and Sunday was the 28th anniversary of his release from prison.

New coin and banknotes for Mandela’s 100th birthday

New coin and banknotes for Mandela’s 100th birthday

The South African Mint‚ a subsidiary of the SARB‚ will issue the new R5 coin.

“This means that the new commemorative banknotes and coin will circulate alongside the existing banknotes and coin.”

SARB governor Lesetja Kganyago said Mandela represented the “best version of ourselves as South Africans”.

“We unveiled the current Mandela series of banknotes in 2012 to honour him. While preserving the value of money is our main mandate‚ our purpose is to be a bastion of institutional strength‚ contributing to a stable and prosperous economy that serves the well-being of all South Africans‚ and guided in part by Madiba’s values.”

SARB last month published the design of the R5 circulation coin in the Government Gazette.

A new 10 Pula designed in collaboration with De La Rue on their Safeguard® polymer substrate entered circulation February 1

The Bank of Botswana announced their decision to introduce a new 10 Pula on polymer to help increase durability of the banknote in circulation.

Working closely with De La Rue, the current banknote design has remained in keeping with the current bank note series.

The introduction of polymer has enabled advanced security features to be incorporated, including MASK, a complex design variant of Gemini and Tactile Emboss – a feature designed to aid the visually impaired identify the denomination.

De La Rue’s Global Account Director Ruth Euling said “We are very proud to have partnered with Bank of Botswana again as part of our long standing relationship, and are pleased to be so closely involved in the launch of their first polymer banknote.”

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – How would residents in Taiwan feel about a New Taiwan Dollar banknote designed using popular snacks and beverages of the island?

One design for the competition in search of a new look for the island’s banknotes takes things in that direction with a proposed NT$ 50 banknote depicting Taiwan’s famous bubble milk tea.

After all, night market snacks and Taiwan’s variety of drink shops are a special characteristic of the country. Perhaps, a NT$ 100 banknote with a stinky tofu design would match the NT$ 50 bubble tea note?

Bubble Tea design for new Taiwanese banknote described as 'cute' and 'creative'

Bubble Tea design for new Taiwanese banknote described as ‘cute’ and ‘creative’

Some comments reported by SETN suggest the bubble milk tea design really is a great example of creativity, but other comments say that it looks like play money, and is “just a bit too cute.”

Former DPP legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) made the original proposal to the Central Bank committee to find a new design for the country’s banknotes, and an online competition to vote for the most popular design began on Friday, Feb. 2

Check out some other designs here, and if you can navigate the webpage (in Chinese) then anyone with a Facebook account can vote once a day until the contest ends on Feb. 25.

Currently the leading design, with close to 12,000 votes, is a five banknote set depicting native wildlife of Taiwan, as well as the famous Taipei 101 building.

The wildlife theme designs are leading in the online voting (Image from the competition’s website)

It’s an unfortunate reality that the ancient coin market is frequently plagued by unethical or outright illegal behavior.

The incentives for fraud are strong because of high coin values and difficulty in tracking relics that were produced many centuries, even millennia, ago.

In one case of triumph, a rare silver denarius coin from the Roman Empire has finally been recovered after being stolen more than 30 years ago.

An Accidental Discovery Suddenly Goes Missing

In 1985, a construction project in the city of Alijó, located in the northern part of Portugal, uncovered a surprising discovery. A clay pot found during the routine expansion work happened to contain 65 coins.

The coins dated to about 69 C.E., making them nearly 2,000 years old. They were silver denarii coins from the Roman Empire. The silver denarius was one of the most important coins of the ancient world, enjoying widespread use across the empire.

However, shortly after the discovery was made, the coins were stolen. For more than three decades, none of them were recovered.

Thanks to the keen eye of an expert, at least one of these ancient artifacts is finally back in its proper place.

Historian Provides a Break In the Case

In retrospect, the reason that the coins were never recovered was because whoever stole them quickly unloaded the ill-gotten haul at a small marketplace across the border in Spain. In all likelihood, the 65 coins were also split up and sold separately to further avoid detection.

Fast forward to the present day. An auction catalog for a sale of various coins in Madrid, Spain caught the eye of a History professor at Porto University in Portugal. By chance, he recognized a listing for one of the long-ago stolen coins.

The Judicial Police (abbreviated PJ in Portuguese) responded to the tip from the historian and recovered the coin before it was auctioned. The starting bid was €7,000 (approximately $8,750) but likely would have realized a much higher hammer price if bidding had proceeded.

Photographs taken of the original find in the 1980s confirmed that this silver denarius indeed came from the stolen cache. This also helped authorities separately track down nine more of the stolen coins.

The coin was minted during the tumultuous “Year of the Four Emperors” in ancient Roman history. Although it may have been marketing hyperbole, the coin was described in the auction catalog as “one-of-a-kind.”

Subsequently, this coin was returned to Portugal’s ministry of culture and will go to a museum in the city of Braga. It is considered to be part of the “national historical and archaeological heritage” of the country, according to a report by the English-language periodical The Portugal News.

Nothing gets the general public more worked up about coins than saying they are sunken treasure.

The fact that Dwight Manley and his marketing group have got a new $40 million batch to sell is great news for organized numismatics. (Click here for full story.)

Anything that Manley offers will gain the immediate attention of millions of noncollectors. The news might just push some of them into actually wanting to own some of the coins that were recovered from the 1857 shipwreck of the S.S. Central America.

I even saw a mention of the story online in a British newspaper.

Lest you think coin collectors are immune to the appeal of sunken treasure, just wait until the coins go on sale. They will be housed in special Professional Coin Grading Service holders. Being properly graded is important. Preserving these coins for years to come is also key. But the special label identifies the pieces as having come from the wreck. This will distinguish them from all others and make a collectible subset of each date and mintmark involved.

Coins from the wreck will be put on display at the Long Beach Expo Feb. 22-24. This public debut will help build interest in the treasure.

The last time Manley was marketing coins recovered from the ship, they commanded premium prices. That is a reason why, as this issue is prepared, our poll question is: “Are you willing to pay more for coins that were once sunken treasure?”

 Whether the answer given by those who vote is yes or no, the fact is collectors are definitely inclined to pay more to own coins made of California gold struck at the San Francisco Mint and lost in a hurricane off North Carolina in 1857.

I think every collector knows that emotion is involved in making coin purchase decisions. I am attached to some coins more than others. That I am attached in this way might not be perfectly rational, but it is the case nevertheless. I think it is fair to say this is a characteristic of all collectors. Coin marketers can count on it.

Sunken treasure captures the imagination. Had you been a survivor of the 1857 wreck, can you image what you would have been thinking? You would have been lucky to be alive, yet you lost a fortune in gold to the bottom of the sea.

Modern collectors are the beneficiaries of the loss of 161 years ago. We are the lucky ones. What we make of this luck remains to be seen. It is early days. Manley is an expert marketer. We can be sure the Long Beach display is just the beginning of a sophisticated marketing campaign.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express.

New 10 rupee coins will soon be put into circulation to replace those currently being used, which have a tendency to rust, a top official of the Central Bank of Seychelles said earlier this week.

The head of the banking services in the Central Bank, Mike Tirant, said that 5 million pieces of coins with a new metal composition will be produced and circulated in the first three months of this year.

Made of nickel plated and nickel brass, the new coins are expected to be more resilient to the climate than the previous ones which although were nickel plated had brass plated steel.

The switch is being made after the Royal Mint in the UK reported that the rusted look seen on the 10 rupee coins already in circulation since December 2016 is caused by Seychelles’ climate and exposure to seawater.

Reports of the rusted 10 rupee coins began barely a month after they were put in circulation by the Central Bank of Seychelles to replace the 10 rupee notes. The damaged coins were sent to the UK for analysis.

Simon Lake, Director of Sales of the Royal Mint, said, “It appears that the climate in Seychelles and the way that the people use the coin exposes them to sea water which causes this explosion that looks like rust on the surface of the coin.”

He added that this is the first time that the Royal Mint — a company that the Seychelles’ Central Bank has been working with since 1982 — encountered such an issue after 150 years of service.

“As there are no visible differences between the two coins both batches will be circulate alongside each other and the 2016 coins will be gradually taken out of circulation through the normal process of daily withdrawals and deposits by the commercial banks,” added Tirant.

On the report of the coins falling apart, Tirant said, “Royal Mint has done some testing to see how much force is required to remove the inner and outer part of the coin.” Since it takes a lot of force to do that and as it cannot be done through normal wear and tear, Tirant added that it has to have been tempered with.

Tirant said that the handling of banknotes and coins in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, has to be improved and people need to take more care with their money.