World Coins

Singapore Mint issues 2016 Lunar coins for Bhutan

The Singapore Mint has launched sales its 2016 Year of the Monkey coins to mark the Lunar, or Chinese Zodiac, calendar. 

Among the offerings are a suite of coins for Bhutan, the reported “happiest place on earth.”

Minted and marketed by the Singapore Mint, Bhutan’s 2016 Lunar Monkey coins are part of the inaugural Blessings of Happiness Lunar Coin Collection, also dubbed the Bhutan Lunar and Attraction series. The three 2016 coins are due to become available on Jan. 1. 

Each of the coins in this annual series will feature scenic attractions of Bhutan on the reverse, paired with the respective animal of the Chinese Zodiac on the obverse.

The obverse design of the 2016 coins features patterns and elements of flowers, leaves and clouds forming the inquisitive monkey, set off by the coin’s ultra-high relief minting, which the Singapore Mint says is “up to three times the normal height of commemorative coins, a breakthrough in minting technology.” 

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The reverse design for 2016 features the Punthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Bliss), also known as the Punakha Dzong. Brilliant color is used to highlight the image of the Punakha Dzong.

A Proof 1-ounce .999 fine silver 500-ngultrum coin measures 40.7 millimeters in diameter. The coin has a mintage limit of 10,000 pieces and retails for $128 in Singapore funds (about $90.93 U.S.).

A Proof 5-ounce .999 fine silver 1,000-ngultrum coin measures 65 millimeters in diameter. It has a mintage limit of 1,000 pieces and retails for $700 Singapore ($497 U.S.). 

Also offered is a Proof quarter-ounce .9999 fine gold 1,000-ngultrum coin. Measuring 21.96 millimeters in diameter, the coin has a mintage limit of 2,000 pieces and retails for $720 Singapore ($511 U.S.).

The Singapore Mint employs hybrid techniques fusing fresh minting technologies with authentic crafting methods, according to Yip Pak Ling, director of the Singapore Mint, in a press release. 

The Singapore Mint employs a team of engravers that add a human touch at every point of the minting process. These artists are equipped with just plaster, tools and their bare hands, according to the mint.

For more information about the coins, visit the Singapore Mint website,

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