I now have coins that have a young portrait of the queen on them, coins that have a slightly older portrait of the queen on them, a full set of the current coins, and a handful of coins with special designs.
I collected the current coins, the current bills, a slightly older set of bills, a couple of older coins, a special $10 note, and a squashed penny from The Interislander ferry.
It seems like every government bank, bureau of printing and engraving, or monetary authority likes to taunt visitors with displays of cancelled bills no longer able to be used as money. Here’s the display at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand:
In the past, I’ve read British books and not known the relevant money-related vocabulary. This sign, spotted at the museum of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, should help!
Singapore has only been a country since 1965. It has only had its own coins since 1967. This ten-cent coin is from 1968, and belongs to the first series of Singapore, which coins featured sea animals.
The second series (introduced in 1985) featured flowers. There were two versions of the coat of arms, one with the banner bowed upwards and one with the banner hanging down. Supposedly the coat of arms was changed for better feng shui, because when the banner is hanging down, it looks like a smile rather than a frown. The octagon inscribed in the circular one-dollar coin is thought to be lucky.
The third series of coins (introduced in 2013, after I came to Singapore) involved changes in the metal composition and size of the coins as well as the designs, which are now more architectural.
The new coins have mostly displaced both second series designs, though I still get some mixed in with my change. It is quite rare to see a first series coin in circulation now.
Learn more about Singapore’s coins:
While packing for my trip to Australia, I learned a bit about the different kinds of bills and coins to look out for. I found a fantastic online guide, and reformatted it into a printer-friendly A4-size PDF, which I printed and took with me.
My list didn’t do me a lot of good, though, because most of the time I was inside the resort, and the fee for the workshop and lodgings included almost all the meals. Nevertheless, I did manage to get different denominations of bills and at least one of the special-issue coins, along with samples of three different portraits of the queen from different eras of coinage.
I couldn’t believe—I still can’t believe—how HUGE the 50-cent coins are! I didn’t think any country in the world had coins this bulky.
Here’s an Australian 50-cent coin next to a current Singapore 50-cent coin, a current US 25-cent coin, and one of the old Singapore 50-cent coins, which until now I thought seemed big!
The embroidered flag patch I bought in the airport was expensive, but looks to be of good quality. I resisted buying any plastic keychains shaped like kangaroos. The pens were free, courtesy of Greenleaf Press (the organizer of the retreat) and Montville Country Cabins (the workshop and retreat venue where we stayed).
My husband collected as many bills and coins as he could on his trip.
See below for photos.
You can spend any country’s Euros anywhere in the Eurozone, which means the coins spread around a bit. Still, in Spain, mostly you see Spanish Euro coins, and in Italy, mostly you see Italian ones, and so on.
Thus, if you were trying to collect all the different coins in circulation in the Eurozone countries, you’d have little hope of running across all the coins from the small Mediterranean island country of Malta, unless you or someone you knew actually went there.
My husband Aquinas brought back a set of eight Maltese Euro coins for each of us when he went to Malta for a conference this month.
Whenever I visit a foreign country, I try to collect one each of all the bills and coins in use; my husband also likes to have a set of his own, so I assembled one for him this time too. Nine different bills! Six polymer and three paper.
Since the coins aren’t worth much, I didn’t run across any in use. I did see some at a stall selling postcards, stamps, and other items of interest to tourists, but they were glued on to a dirty old cardboard “collector’s album” with some undoubtedly fake/replica ancient coins and some random, beat-up coins from other countries (including an American penny next to a label that said it was a nickel). No thanks.
Since the Wikipedia article on Vietnamese banknotes doesn’t let you see the images of the banknotes (you have to click a bunch of links to another site), I’ve scanned mine and posted them below.
The 200k note shows Ha Long Bay, and the 100k note shows a gate at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, two locations I’ve now seen in person.
As is my habit, I brought back coins and bills from my trip.
I’m now only missing one out of 100 state quarters collected from circulation since 1999 (one for each state and for each of the two mints, the one in Philadelphia and the one in Denver). It was always harder for me to collect Denver coins when I lived in the Southeast and the Northeast, but unsurprisingly, in Denver there were a lot of Denver coins.
I made a bunch of squashed pennies in tourist machines in various places.
I traded with my mom’s friend who we were staying with to get money from Uruguay, Brazil, and several other countries.