The money that can be washed…
We cannot ignore the news that the Transnistrian Republican Bank issued new coins. The fact that coins have different shapes - circle, square, pentagon and hexagon is not amazing: there are many countries in the world which issue coins of different shapes. But the material of the Transnistrian rubles is surprising- it is plastic. It is a valid means of payment – so using this plastic; you can buy real goods and pay for the real services. Moreover, we are not talking about pennies, but about rubles- one, three, five, ten rubles - that is, money in a quick turnover.
Transnistria once again drew the attention of the world community ... and not only of the numismatists.
Probably, there are advantages of the plastic currency. Plastic is more durable. It does not tear and does not rot. It can be in circulation much longer than paper and will not overload the purse. In time, when the Central banks of the world are spending a lot of money collecting and destroying old banknotes; the Transnistrian Republican Bank, came up with a new way of saving. Another important factor is the question of hygiene - money goes through thousands of hands, and the plastic rubles can be “washed” in the truest sense of the word.
I would not be surprised that after this experiment, many states will pay attention to this experience. Since it is announced that coins are made in Russia, it is possible that Transnistria rolls the idea of plastic money.
One question is incomprehensible: what coins are cheaper to mint: metal or plastic ones? For the usual coins each country selects different metal: someone makes them out of cheap aluminum, some out of more complex composition, nickel-copper, or precious metals: silver and gold...
By the way, the Transnistrian Republican Bank, since 1994 issues its own currency, alongside with the other banks-issuers of coins, producing precious jubilee and commemorative coins.
The first silver coin was issued in 2002. Since then, the Bank has released 15 jubilee and commemorative coins made of silver; and 5 gold coins. Minimum quantity is 15 units, maximum-500.
Such small number of coins and the material make them very attractive for the coin collectors, especially those who collect exotic currencies. Total circulation of silver and gold coins of Transnistria for the time of their minting made 5880 units. The total weight of all silver and golden coins issued by the Transnistrian Republican Bank amounted to date to 94,457 kg of silver of sample 925 and 10,603 kg of gold sample 999.
By the way, at the current rate of metals used in the production of all silver coins - 5500 units amounted to 58.5 thousand dollars; and the cost of metals used in the production of gold - 330 units- 432.5 thousand dollars. So only the price of the metal in the Transnistrian gold and silver coins is almost million dollars.
Here's an interesting arithmetic.
It should be noted that the National Bank of Moldova issued silver coins for nearly two decades: the first, devoted to 5th anniversary of independence of the country, was released in 1996.
To date, the National Bank minted 107 coins - 97 silver and 10 gold. It is interesting that in 1996-2009 silver coins were minted from metal sample 925, and since 2010 - metal became clearer - 999. Moldavian coins were issued with circulation of 300 to 3000 units. 101 700 thousand of such coins were released.
For this purpose almost 1756,94 kilograms of silver and 93,19 kilograms of pure gold were used. Only the metal of produced silver coins is worth 1 million 087,4 thousand dollars; and gold - 3 million 800,88 thousand dollars. Total 4 million 888,3 thousand dollars.
The most expensive coin was released in 2009- it is a gold coin with face value of 200 lei, weight 24.9 grams under the name "Moldova - 650 years."
It is interesting that this coin can be bought only with the so-called "load" - a kind of term of the Soviet Union times- that is, together with three silver coins issued in 2009. This set the National Bank sells for 16 thousand 550 lei, but it can be bought by the commercial banks only, which then sell it to everyone with extra charge of 3% - i.e. a maximum 17 thousand lei. Can it be bought at the primary market today, 5 years later? I think it is impossible.
Now we will return to the released plastic coins of Transnistria. In Soviet times, especially in the last decade, there were states which used "sterilization" of the money supply through the issuance of commemorative and jubilee coins. On any important occasion these coins were put in circulation with face value of 1 ruble. They were neither gold, nor silver. However, most people that got this coin, preferred to leave it at home - and the state was aware that money will be in collections and withdrawn from circulation. In the 80-ies of the last century such coins could be bought in a souvenir pack at a double price and even in the stalls. Then at the peak of the collection epidemic in the USSR, the state responded to the market demand, in parallel solving monetary issues.
We can say that a huge number of plastic Transnistrian rubles - the first in the world plastic money, which is a valid means of payment, will be evacuated from the region. Maybe not in very large volumes... It is also possible that the Transnistrian Republican Bank will be packaging these coins in gift sets for numismatists, which will pay for them in currency.
Today, it can be an original souvenir for a foreigner. Although I admit that plastic coins may become future cash alongside with cashless plastic bank cards.
However, precious metals were, are and will be... and always required in all times.
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