Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) Issues New Shaped Coins

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Bank of Jamaica (BoJ), has issued new shaped $1 and $10 coins into circulation.

Both coins, which were issued last week, bear the images of National Heroes, the Rt. Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante, and the Rt. Excellent George William Gordon, respectively, on one side, and the National Coat of Arms on the other. The original $1 coin has a heptagonal (seven-sided) shape, while the $10 has a scallop design.

Outlining the changes, Head of the BoJ’s Currency Department, Mr. Norbert Bryan, told JIS News that: “What we have done is to put [those heptagonal and scallop] shapes within a circle. So, both coins are now circular, but the designs are the same…they look the same.”

He informed that the original coins, which will remain in circulation along with the new versions, will be gradually withdrawn.

“They remain legal tender, so there’s no need not to accept them, there’s no need to bring them in. They will be used until they gradually disappear,” he advised, pointing to a marginal difference in the weights, which he described as “inconsequential.

Outlining the rationale for the changes, the BoJ Executive explained that the institution revamped the processing mechanism for the coins, which made the undertaking of producing the “irregularly-shaped” $1 and $10 challenging. He also highlighted the financial implications.

“If we are able to re-circulate these coins at a faster rate, then the Bank will save taxpayers’ money, because a coin is designed to serve between 20 and 25 years. If you can’t put back your used coins into circulation, then you have to issue new coins, and new coins come at a cost. So, it’s all about efficiency and cost saving,” he said.

Mr. Bryan said that no alteration would be made to any of the other coins, which are already circular in shape, including the 10 cent, 25 cent, $5.00 and $20.00 coins. The images of National Heroes, the Rt. Excellent Paul Bogle and the Rt. Excellent Norman Manley are on the 10 cent and $5 coins, respectively, while the image of another National Hero, the Rt. Excellent Marcus Garvey is on the 25 cent and $20.00 coins.

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