The Royal Mint helps move banknote-coin boundary in Tanzania

06 Jan 2015

The Royal Mint is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a contract from the Bank of Tanzania to produce a new 500 shilling circulation coin.

The Bank of Tanzania has recognised the strong durability of a coin over a banknote, which provides better value over time. It has chosen to replace the 500 shilling banknote with a coin and will gradually withdraw the note from circulation. This lowest denomination banknote is the most regularly used by the public and because of its high turnover is often found in a poor condition when it’s returned to the bank.

The Royal Mint has made coins for the East African Currency Board, the then monetary authority for East Africa which comprised Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika (now Tanzania) from pre-independence to 1966.  Since then, The Royal Mint has made a number of coins including the 50 and 100 shilling for the Bank of Tanzania.

The new 500 shilling coin will feature a portrait of the first president of Zanzibar, Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume on the obverse and on the reverse, a buffalo which is commonly found in the national parks of Tanzania.

Incorporating The Royal Mint’s market-leading aRMour® plating technology, the 500 shilling coin will have a number of benefits over other coin and blank products, including increased seigniorage, significant cost savings and exceptional wear-resistance, lasting up to five times longer than other plated products available on the market.

The new coin will also include a latent security feature, which will show ‘500’ at one angle and ‘BOT’, Bank of Tanzania, at another. This security feature will help reduce the risk of this new high value coin being prone to counterfeit.  

Andrew Mills, Director of Circulating Coin at The Royal Mint said "Coins are proven to provide a much more robust currency solution to banknotes and we are delighted that The Bank of Tanzania has recognised this by switching their 500 shilling denomination from a note to a coin.

“The Royal Mint is renowned across the world for the innovative, high quality currency solutions that we offer our customers, and we are extremely proud to be awarded this new contract for the 500 shilling circulating coin, continuing the relationship we have enjoyed with The Bank of Tanzania for many years”.

Emmanuel Boaz, Director of Banking Service at the Bank of Tanzania commented on the new contract “We are pleased to have successfully worked with The Royal Mint to create the new 500 shilling coin. The 500 shilling banknote was observed to stay in circulation beyond its originally expected life and when deposited in banks it was no longer fit for recirculation. The option of having a coin is much more cost effective in the long term as it is more durable with a longer life span.”

The Royal Mint is the world’s leading export mint, currently serving approximately 60 countries worldwide and producing around 15% of all global coin demand. The Royal Mint offers customers proven expert advice and consultancy on all aspects of currency, including cash-cycle strategy, specification, design and production, tooling, alloy recovery programmes, cash-management services, counterfeit detection, mint build and refurbishment.

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