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Treasuries in various parts of the world are asking a question that used to be a mainstay of the grocery store checkout line—paper or plastic?—and many are opting for the latter. Polymer-based banknotes are more durable, cleaner, cheaper to make and even more resistant to counterfeiting than their paper counterparts. Australia was the pioneer, setting a trend for the rest of the Commonwealth, as Canada and the United Kingdom have adopted plastic currency.

Norbert Sparrow

August 25, 2015

2 Min Read
Germany to introduce €5 polymer coin

Treasuries in various parts of the world are asking a question that used to be a mainstay of the grocery store checkout line—paper or plastic?—and many are opting for the latter. Polymer-based banknotes are more durable, cleaner, cheaper to make and even more resistant to counterfeiting than their paper counterparts. Australia was the pioneer, setting a trend for the rest of the Commonwealth, as Canada and the United Kingdom have adopted plastic currency. Now, Germany has announced that it will introduce a €5 coin with a polymer ring embedded between the outer and inner disks.

The Stuttgart Ministry of Finance in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, with technical assistance from the Leibniz Institute of RWTH Aachen University, has developed a polymer material that can be minted like a metal while maintaining its thermoplastic properties, reports the Cash Handling Journal. The decade-long project will reach fruition in February 2016, when the coin makes its debut at the World Money Fair in Berlin. It will go into general circulation in Germany in the spring.

The coin's design is comprised of a ring of polymer which is enclosed by another ring of metal. The transparent blue polymer ring, which can be worked like metal, contains both a color pigment and security features, reports Coin Update. The joint between the polymer plastic and metal is just as strong as between the two different metals in conventional bi-metallic coins, such as the €1 and €2 coins.

Initially, numismatists will be the primary beneficiaries, as the coin will only be legal tender in Germany. However, designers hope that it may eventually be adopted by the European Central Bank to replace the €5 banknotes, which are in poor condition because of frequent use.

5 euro polymer coin

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree.

www.linkedin.com/in/norbertsparrow

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