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Smaller 10-Won Coins Announced

Posted June. 16, 2006 03:08,   


The size of 10 won coins will become as small as one won coins.

The material will also be changed to aluminum, along with copper and zinc, to reduce production costs.

A senior official of the Korea Minting and Security Printing Cooperation (KOMSCO) said on June 15, “The Bank of Korea has made a preliminary decision based on several discussions with KOMSCO among others to change the size and material of the 10 won coin.”

The new ten won coin will be reduced in diameter from 22.86mm to 18mm, resembling the one won coin (diameter 17.2mm).

Though smaller than the 5 won coin (diameter 20.4mm), one and five won coins are not in circulation, precluding any chance of confusion.

The material will change to a ‘clad’ form, mixing copper and zinc with a 65:35 percentage on both sides of an aluminum plate, which is relatively cheaper.

The clad method will reduce costs and is as sturdy as the current coins in circulation.

The current picture, including the Dabo Tower on the head side will be preserved with only the size reduced.

When the 10-won coin was first produced in 1966, the metal proportion rate of copper to zinc was 88 to 12, but was changed to 65 to 35 in 1970. In 1983, the picture of the Dabo tower was raised and a picture of a stone lion was included.

This is the first change in forty years in the size and material of the ten-won coin.

A source from the Bank of Korea stated, “Like bills, coin production goes through the approval of the Currency Design Advisory Committee, the government, and the Monetary Policy Committee,” and that “decisions are not final.”

The Bank of Korea is attempting to produce a new ten-won coin due to its surpassing the melting point, where the high cost of copper and zinc has caused the value of the material to exceed its face value.

Kyung-Joon Chung news91@donga.com