Central Bank: Use more 50 cents

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The Central Bank, Independence Square, Port of Spain. –

No, not the rapper, the actual coin. The Central Bank is encouraging people to use more of the 50 cent pieces.

This comes after Newsday took notice of an ad printed on page seven of the July 25 which read: “Our 50 cent coin: Legal tender and in circulation.”

The ad then invited people to visit its website for more information on TT’s current notes and coins.

50 cent coin – CBTT

In response to Newsday on why this ad was placed, the bank said in e-mail responses, the use of the coin has not been traditionally high and it was trying to change this as one aspect of its recent efforts to “streamline and economise on the cost of minting/printing coins and banknotes.”

The bank added that it also built up a lot of stock of 50 cent coins over the years.

50 cent coin back – CBTT

“If people use more of these coins, it will save the country having to mint as much of the other denominations (25, 10, 5 cent pieces). Our social media and print notices are geared at encouraging people and businesses to use, and banks to order these coins for their customers,” it said.

The Central Bank also said it was streamlining and economising the cost of printing coins and banknotes in other ways. Those included: its demonetisation of the one cent coin in 2018, the change in the metallic composition of coins in 2017 and the switch from cotton-based to polymer-based banknotes which started in 2014.

The bank said it cost 22 cents to mint a one cent coin.

50 cent coin front – CBTT

The 50 cent coin was introduced to TT in 1966 and remains legal tender, the bank said. Its current design featuring pans on one side and the Coat of Arms on the other was launched in 1976.

“Overall, we wish to emphasise that the Central Bank is aiming to encourage less use of cash, and more digital transactions, in TT over time. Meanwhile, we continue to modernise and streamline our currency activities.”