Author Topic: Russia to switch to steel coins  (Read 1128 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Russia to switch to steel coins
« on: May 08, 2009, 12:24:49 PM »
Russia to switch to cheaper steel coins from copper
Reuters - Friday, May 8

MOSCOW - Russia will switch to steel coins from copper ones, the central bank said on Thursday, in a move which could save cash as the economy faces its worst economic crisis in a decade. "Starting from the second quarter of 2009, 1-, 2- and 5-rouble coins made out of steel with a nickel covering will come into circulation," the central bank said in a statement, without giving a reason for the change.

Steel costs around $400 a tonne [STL/] while copper fetches nearly $5,000 [ID:nLS567017].

The move comes as the Russian government is counting its kopecks as it faces at least three years of budget deficits.

"The graphic design and the size of the new coins will remain unchanged," the statement said.

Russia's smallest coins are worth just 1 kopeck -- or one 100th of a rouble. You would need nearly 200 of those just to buy the cheapest box of matches in a Moscow supermarket, and over 1,000 for the least expensive loaf of bread.

The central bank has previously said it is looking into the possibility of scrapping 1 and 5 kopeck coins, as production costs are more than 10 times higher than their nominal value.

Russia spent over 6 billion roubles on minting coins in 2007.

Source: Singapore News

With thanks to Pabitra Saha
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.