New coins for Pacific countries

7:46 am on 9 March 2015

Tonga, Cook Islands and Vanuatu are looking forward to the delivery of their brand new coins this year which will apparently not only look better but cost less to produce.

The three countries follow in the footsteps of Samoa and Solomon Islands who were the first to withdraw costly coins from circulation and replace them with more affordable alternatives being offered by the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra.

Tonga will be first to receive its new coins in June to coincide with the coronation of King Tupou the VI whose image will be on one side of the new coins.

The Chief Executive of the Royal Australian Mint, Ross McDiarmid, says this will be followed by Cook Islands and Vanuatu the former with its unique Triangular coin, a design it shares with only one other country, Bermuda.

"We are extraordinarily proud and privileged to do the work on behalf of these Pacific Island nations and we look forward to working with others who may wish to follow the same path. We can provide a much more comprehensive review of those coins rather than simply just producing them, so if countries wish to talk with us we would be delighted to talk to them."

Ross McDiarmid says all new coins will have unique fauna, flora and national designs but these will be revealed by the respective countries at their discretion.

Official coining ceremony at the Royal Australian Mint between Tonga, Cook Islands and Vanuatu.

Official coining ceremony at the Royal Australian Mint Minister of Finance, Cook Islands, Mr Mark Brown Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of Vanuatu, Mr Peter Tari High Commissioner of Tonga to Australia, Her Royal Highness Princess Angelika Tuku’aho Australian Government Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer the Honourable Kelly O’Dwyer MP Royal Australian Mint CEO Mr Ross MacDiarmid High Commissioner of Vanuatu to Australian His Excellency Mr Kalfau George Kaloris Photo: RNZI Courtesy of Royal Australian Mint