Kilang Wang Bank Negara Malaysia, Shah Alam

The mint at Batu Tiga,Shah Alam,a 40 minutes drive from Bank Negara Malaysia,with a wall at least ten feet high,with double barbed wire fencing like a prison.

Our blanks come from Korea,Japan,the United State and Germany.Most of the coins are 75% copper and 25% nickel.The one cent coin (no more in production & circulation) is in copper clad steel,which is 95% steel and 5% copper and attracted to magnets.It costs more than one cent to produce a one cent coin.

A coin is supposed to last in normal,25 years. In one year,our mint uses about 800 metric tonnes of blanks.The blanks is positioned between two dies which punch in the distinctive design.The die with the reverse imprint of the coin  is the one which says '20 sen' ( denominations).This is the one (the hammer die) who does the punching.The die with the obverse side,with the picture of the Parliament building,does not move.So when the reverse die punches in the '20 sen',the Parliament building also gets stamped on the obverse side of the coin.At the same time,the coin also acquires its milled edge.

Our Mint have devised a system so that they can never get a coin with the Parliament or '20 sen' (denominations) imprinted on both sides.This is because the reverse die is longer than the obverse die.So put two reverse dies together,they would clash.And if you put two obverse dies together they will not meet.

The coins are then inspected and counted in the counting machines.A sample is checked again to see they have been properly minted and their diameter is within the approved limits.The reject rate is about one in every 1,000 coins(reported in 1984).The coins are then weighed,put into the same bags in which the blanks came and packed in the same crates.They are ready now for loading to the Bank Negara Malaysia.

Since our Mint first started  minting on May 4,1971,every month,the Mint produces an average of eight to ten millions coins.The ten cents and twenty cents coins being the most popular.

The demand of coins reached its peaks in late 1981 and early 1982.This was because Malaysian coins were being accepted in Singapore.Because they were accepted at face face value,there was a tidy profit to be made on taking Malaysian coins and using them in Singapore.In 1982,Singapore Government stopped accepting Malaysian coins,hence the demand for Malaysia coins fell.

Anybody who handles coins in the BNM is struck by the mystery of the missing coins.Our Mint keeps producing these eight to ten millions coins every month.None of these coins come back to the branches of the BNM.Where do they go?It doesn't pay to melt for their metal,for only one cent coin is worth more in metal than the currency.And that is being phased out.It was reported that most of them get lost.If one person loses one coin a month,that is more than 27 millions coins which are lost! Some are withdrawn from circulation because they are kept at home in piggy banks or pile up in the coin box of the car. The mystery of missing coins still remains.

When our Governor goes abroad ,he/she often takes with him/her gift wrapped sets of coins for presentation.This is most appropriate for it is the coins that most dramatically reflect the history of a country's currency.


  1. Wow thank you so much Dickson. This is, I must say a very very good article on numismatic. A light, but yet informative reading, suitable for all! Thanks and keep posting!

  2. Hi Dickson,
    No doubt most who thought double-headed or double-tailed coins exist are fallacious assumptions or actually faked coins.
    But we have read stories about a number of these coins actually exist.
    Notable examples are 1971 Great Britain Half Pence Two Headed & Two Tailed Set, 1980 Canadian Two Tailed Cent, 1978 Canadian Two Tailed Cent Die Cap, Two Headed & Two Tailed Euro 6 Piece Set and some mint-made US specimens reported to have been found in a safe deposit box rented by a former Mint employee who's estate was sold by the State of California.
    But you've mentioned that the alignment and size of the dies make the minting of such coins impossible.
    What then could have possibly made these coin?
    An interesting and informative article you've posted here.
    Thanks alot for sharing, Dickson :)

  3. Hi Dickson,
    Apologise for posing mind twisters again.
    But this question has been bothering us even after reading your explanation about mules and also that a coin with a smaller diameter could never be minted on a planchet meant for a coin with a bigger diameter.
    But what about these few famous examples of mules here:-
    1999 Cent with the reverse of a Roosevelt Dime (struck on a normal Cent planchet). Unique.
    Roosevelt dime with a diameter 17.91mm on a one cent planchet 19.05mm.
    Obverse of a 50 States Washington Quarter Dollar with the reverse of a Sacajawea Dollar (all examples known were struck on the normal "golden" Sacajawea Dollar planchet). Seven known.
    1/4 dollar with a diameter 24.26mm on a Sacajawea planchet 26.5mm.
    Thanks alot, Dickson :)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. And just one more question. Wonder why the RM1 planchet you've posted here has concentric circles on its surface?
    We noticed these concentric circles are evident on most faked RM1 coins.
    Thanks Dickson :)

  6. Hi, awesome info Dickson.
    so that now I have clear view regarding this matter.
    Thanks Dickson.

  7. Dear mnfaj,thank you.Glad that you enjoyed it. Yes,I will do my lever best to post more informative articles.You may also post me some ideas so that I can improve my Blog.

  8. Dear whyollect,thank you for your comments.
    Yes,I do knew those looked impossible error coinage.Firstly,not all Mint Factories are using the same device that our Mint is using.They may using a mint press machine with obverse and reverse dies having the same size in lenght.
    Secondly,if we can produced assisted errors,so do others.
    I read some error coin books published in USA consist of all those error coinage you had mentioned.
    Some may be the trial-struck/test coins.
    About the one dollar blank,yes,it is a counterfeit blank.Just for illustration.
    Next coming up coin story may explains more possibilities why these error coins were exist.

  9. Dear Sabri,your are welcome.Wish you all the best in your study.Please keep in touch.

  10. Thank you so much, Dickson :)