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March 24, 1970 No. 2


The 1970s saw an expansion in the world-wide coverage of Numismatic News. The News reached across the globe to pluck interesting stories from the most unlikely places.

“Dinky Coins” Teach Metrics

Half-cents, cents and 2-cents pieces are flowing from the South African mint in Pretoria, but their purpose is more instructional than functional.

The “dinky coins” are being issued to help mothers teach metric weights to children. The half-cent weighs two grams, the cent three grams, and the 2-cents tips the metric scales at four grams. The coins will not replace existing pieces, but will circulate alongside them.

“My only fear is that the public will like them so much that they will be hoarded,” said J.J. Groenewald, director of the mint. “Here at the mint we want to see the coins circulated and paid into shops, not accumulated in boxes and drawers. Their chief purpose is to provide exact change for milk and bread and bus fares.”