Singapore Gold Coins

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As of late, Singapore has become one of the Asiatic centers of trade and commerce, being famed the world over not only for its highly developed infrastructures, but also its burgeoning economy. While Singapore is chiefly known for its tourism, a smaller market has capitalized on the need for a solid and reliable base for investments, and with the global economy experiencing regular ups and downs, even the Singaporean investment cadres have begun to focus more on gold bullion investment than ever before.

While Singapore has had a decidedly long history of gold bullion production, being well known during the early 50’s and 60’s as a prime source for gold ingots and other exotic items, it was not until 1975 that they had truly begun producing and creating gold bullion coins in earnest. While rare examples of pre-1975 gold coins can still be found by the most meticulous of collectors, such coins are usually unavailable for purchase or are otherwise housed in local governmental collections, or are in private ownership.[1] A few examples of gold coins dated to the middle of the ‘60’s are still available online, though they are of extreme interest to both local and foreign collectors and their numbers are fast declining. By 1975, the Singaporean government initiated the production of its first bullion coin, then made from 22-carat gold (sometimes referred to as ‘Singold’ by numismatists) as was the standard for nearly the whole of the bullion market at the time. Celebrating their 10th Independence Anniversary, the coin incorporated artwork and metalwork created by local artists .[2] Soon, the practice of minting commemorative coins became commonplace, with the 1975 gold anniversary coin being followed shortly thereafter by the 1984 Singaporean Lunar coin set (ceased in 1995)[3] and the 1989 commemorative gold coinage (Save the Children Fund) of only very limited mintage which boasted a variety of different designs (of the latter, only 3000 coins are known to have been minted, with production ceasing sometime in 1992).[4]

By the 1990s, Singapore had moved forward from simply minting limited commemorative gold coins to truly engaging (albeit indirectly) in the global bullion coin market with the introduction of their own special brand of bullion coin – the then (and still somewhat obscure) gold Singapore Lion.[5] Unlike the earlier commemorative coins, the Singaporean Lions were made to compete with the current pure-gold coins of the era, and so were minted with .9999 fine 24-carat gold, taken from their local mines. by creating gold coins of superior quality and purity, they were actively opening themselves up to the international bullion market, however, the production of the Singaporean Lions remained in circulation only locally, as they were intended only for local investment, albeit having created to comply with international standards. Available in sizes that range from 1 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz, 1/10 oz, and 1/20 oz (with a face value of $100 $50, $25, $10, and $5, respectively), these early examples of Singaporean gold coins carried specialized privy marks found on the obverse of the coins which featured the stylized bust of a lion along with its weight, gold content, and face value. The reverse of the coin, like all standard-issue Singaporean gold bullion coins, featured the coat of arms of Singapore with the legend ‘SINGAPURA SINGAPORE’ along with its date of mintage, and accompanying legends in Malay and Chinese.

It was not until 1996 that a small number of Singaporean Lions began to hit the global market, but due to their already limited mintage, it has not become as popular an investment coin as many other western gold coins of similar purity. The face values of the latter mintages have also decreased, although it did not reflect a loss of the original gold purity, which, to this day, is still maintained at .9999%.

As a foray to the renewed interest in bullion investment, Singapore actively continues to produce, albeit in very limited quantities, their Singaporean Lion coins. The Singaporean Lunar gold coin set is of distinct interest to collectors, as, like the Chinese Lunar coins, it too is very obscure and relatively rare. Made of .999% fine gold and available in the same standard weights as the Singaporean Lions, they are among the most beautiful of Singaporean coins, although they are no longer produced at present, and only very few remaining examples (usually incomplete coins that are part of a larger 12-coin set) are now available for purchase. Along with its gold Lions, Singapore still creates fine commemorative coinages, although both the two are usually relegated only to local purchase and use, with a few handfuls being exported outside for interested numismatic collectors. It is due to this ‘locality’ that many western bullion investors who wish to have a hand at Singold bullion opt to place their investments within the borders of Singapore itself, with, of course, very positive results.

Singapore Gold Coins - References:


Content researched and created by Alexander Leonhart for ©

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