In 1969, independent Singapore was just four years old, and the fledgling Singapore dollar two years younger still.
But in the midst of that tumultuous era, Singapore released its first commemorative coin – in 916 or 22-carat gold no less.
The subject? The 150th anniversary of the founding of modern Singapore, aptly represented by a face value of S$150 and the lighthouse that bears the name of Stamford Raffles.
A total of 198,000 of these coins were issued on Aug 8, 1969, with an issue price of S$151.50, according to MAS.
1975: The 10th anniversary of Singapore’s independence
Singapore would soon look beyond its colonial past, however, as it began issuing more accessibly priced coins marking national milestones.
In 1973, silver coins were minted to celebrate Singapore’s hosting of the 7th SEAP Games – today’s SEA Games – and the official opening of the National Stadium.
Two years later, Singapore celebrated the 10th anniversary of its independence with a variety of coins released through the year in silver and gold, with face values ranging from S$10 to S$500.
The coins featured one of four designs: A stylised lion’s head, four clasped hands symbolising multiracialism, blocks of flats and a ship.
The most affordable of these, a S$10 uncirculated silver coin with a mintage of 200,000, was priced at just S$0.30 over face value.
With the National Day Parade of 1975 decentralised to ensure that more people could participate in Singapore’s 10th birthday celebrations, this was very much in the spirit of the festivities.
Singapore would continue to commemorate its milestone birthdays with new coins, with the SG50 series being the latest.
1977: The 10th anniversary of ASEAN