Coins of the Hong Kong dollar


Coins of the Hong Kong dollar
Reverses of Hong Kong coins
Old larger $1 until 1978

The Hong Kong coinage, including 10¢, 20¢, 50¢, $1, $2, $5 & $10, is issued by Hong Kong Monetary Authority on behalf of the Government of Hong Kong. From 1863 until 1992 these coins were embossed with the reigning British monarch's effigy. From January 1993 to November 1994, a new series depicting the bauhinia flower was gradually issued, including a new denomination of $10. Since the beginning of the coin replacement programme in 1993, over 585 million coins featuring Queen Elizabeth II have been withdrawn from circulation. However, these coins remain legal tender. The total value of coins in circulation in Hong Kong can be found in Monthly Statistical Bulletin and the Annual Report.

Contents

Coins currently in circulation

Since the introduction of Octopus card in 1997, small value payments and purchases in Hong Kong are mostly done as Octopus transactions[citation needed]. As a result, usage of coins in Hong Kong has dropped significantly. The Hong Kong Government has not minted any new coins since 1998.

The obverse of each newest coin bears the standard bauhinia, with the word “Hong Kong” in Chinese characters and English. The reverse features the denomination in Chinese characters and English with a large Arabic numeral in the centre and the year of issue below.

Queen Elizabeth II Series
Value Description Date of
Obverse Reverse first minting issue
10¢ Queen Elizabeth II, "QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND" Value, title of the country, year of minting 1948
10¢ 1982
20¢ 1975
50¢ Queen Elizabeth II, "QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND" Value, title of the country, year of minting 1951
50¢ Queen Elizabeth II, "QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND" Value, title of the country, year of minting 1977
$1 Queen Elizabeth II, "QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND" Crest in the Coat of Arms of Hong Kong, value, title of the country, year of minting 1960
$2 1975
$5 1976
$5 Value, title of the country, year of minting 1980
Bauhinia Series
10¢ Bauhinia, "HONG KONG" Value, year of minting 1993 May 1994
20¢ October 1993
50¢
$1 Bauhinia, "HONG KONG" Value, year of minting 1993 October 1993
$2 January 1993
$5
$10 Bauhinia, "HONG KONG" Value, year of minting 1993 November 1994

1867 1$ silver coin .

Historical denominations and coins

5 cents 1949-1979

The following coin denominations are no longer circulated by the HKMA.

Value Diameter Weight Thickness Edge
1 mill 1863-1866 15 mm 0.98 gr 0.8 mm Plain
1 cent 1863-1926 27 mm 7.53 g 1.8 mm Plain
1 cent 1931-1941 21.5 mm 4.05 g 1.8 mm Plain
5 cent 1866-1935 15 mm 1.34 g 0.8 mm Reeded
5 cent 1937-1988 16.51 mm 2.59 g 1.73 mm Reeded and reeded security edge.
  • The 1 mill coin was discontinued due to its unpopularity.
  • 1 cent last issued in 1934, but the last mintage which was melted down by the Japanese or lost was dated 1941.
  • The 5 cent coin was last issued in 1979 and minted for uncirculated coin sets in 1988.

The following current denominations that have changed in size and or shape.

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Commemorative coins and coin sets

Opening of the Lantau Link, May 1997

To mark the opening of the Lantau Link, the HKMA issued a philatelic numismatic cover in May 1997, the first of its kind in Hong Kong. The Lantau Link is the first road link between Lantau Island, where the new airport is located, and the rest of Hong Kong.

Establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, July 1997

To commemorate the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on 1 July 1997, the HKMA, on behalf of the Government, issued a HK$1,000 commemorative proof gold coin, 97,000 proof sets and an unknown number of brilliant uncirculated set of seven coins with the same denominations as the coins currently in circulation. On the obverse side of each of these seven coins is the standard Bauhinia design, with a special commemorative design and denomination on the reverse.

Opening of the Hong Kong International Airport, July 1998

To mark the opening of the Hong Kong International Airport in July 1998, 15,000 $1,000 commemorative proof gold coin was issued. The gold coin features a design symbolising Hong Kong's ascent into the new century and bears the standard Bauhinia design on the obverse side.

The Five Blessings Commemorative Coin Set, February 2002

To mark the fifth year of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the HKMA, on behalf of the Government, issued 60,000 limited edition coin set that consists of five HK$50 silver coins with a gold-plated inner core, and a 9999 pure gold medallion. The five silver coins are individually engraved with a phrase and symbol of traditional blessing.

Security features

The $10 coin is made of two metals: a white nickel alloy outer ring and a brass inner core. The standard bauhinia on the obverse gives a sharp embossed image. The neat bonding between the outer and inner rings gives it another unique feature. The $10 coin has an alternate plain and milled edge. The $5 coin has a milled edge. A groove running within the milled edging contains raised English and Chinese characters, which read “Hong Kong Five Dollars”. The $1 and 50¢ coins have simple milled edges. The $2 and 20¢ coins have scalloped edges. The 10¢ coin has a plain edge. Under Hong Kong law (sections 98 – 102 of Cap. 200), anyone who makes or possesses or controls or passes any counterfeit note or coin commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for up to 14 years.

Adopted from the official website of Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Permission granted.

References

  • Ma Tak Wo 2004, Illustrated Catalogue of Hong Kong Currency, Ma Tak Wo Numismatic Co., LTD. Kowloon, Hong Kong.ISBN 962-85939-3-5

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