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Seniti
Tonga 1 seniti 2005
2005 coin
General information
Country

Flag of Tonga Tonga

Value

0.01 pa'anga

Years

19672005

Measurements and composition
Mass
  • 2.59 or 1.85 g (1967-1968)
  • 1.75 or 1.69 g (1974)
  • 1.85 g (1975-1996)
  • 1.75 g (2002-2005)
Diameter

17.53 mm

Thickness
  • 1.4 mm (1967-1974)
  • 1.25 mm (1975-1996)
  • 1.15 mm (2002-2005)
Composition
Appearance
Shape

round

Alignment

medallic

Edge

plain

Obverse

see text

Reverse

see text

v · d · e

The 1 seniti coin (sometimes Anglicized as 1 cent) is a circulation piece of the Kingdom of Tonga. It was issued in six types from 1967 to 2005, during the reign of King Tāufa'āhau Tupou IV (1918–2006; r. 1965–2006). Each was distributed by the National Reserve Bank of Tonga (NRBT) and government of Tonga and struck under commission at foreign mints.

The first coin of the denomination was introduced in 1967, the second full year of King Tāufa'āhau's reign. It was then followed in 1968 by a redesigned seniti piece, which was later struck again in a different metal in 1974. A circulating commemorative coin of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was then issued in 1975 and 1979, followed by a new piece introduced in 1981. This coin was struck without changes until 1996, and then in a different metal from 2002 to 2005.

Prior to their demonetization in 2015, the six coins were legal tender in their country of origin, each holding a nominal value of 0.01 pa'anga. In spite of this, by the time they were recalled, they were no longer circulating frequently due to their low purchasing power.

CoinsEdit

Sālote coin (1967)Edit

Tonga 1 seniti 1967

1967 coin

On April 3, 1967, the pa'anga was introduced in Tonga, replacing the pound at a rate of 2 pounds to 1 pa'anga. The first series of coins of the new currency, consisting of denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 seniti and 1 and 2 pa'anga, was released into circulation on that date. Each was struck under contract at the Royal Mint of the United Kingdom and designed by Dudley Blakely (1902–1982), an American artist and adviser to the government of Tonga. The 1 seniti piece of the series was struck solely in 1967.

The coin is composed of a bronze alloy and measures 17.53 millimeters in diameter, and 1.4 millimeters in thickness. It weighs 2.59 grams according to the Weltmünzkatalog and 1.85 grams according to the Standard Catalog of World Coins. The piece has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and like most coins, is round in shape. Both of its rims are raised and decorated with a beaded border.

A right-facing illustration of Sālote Tupou III (1900–1965), the Queen of Tonga from 1918 to 1965, appears in the middle of the obverse. This depiction, which shows the monarch wearing an ornate necklace, first appeared on a series of non-circulating Tongan coins in 1962. Printed clockwise along the periphery above is the caption "SALOTE TUPOU III", and inscribed in the opposite direction at the rim below is the Gregorian date of minting, "1967".

Displayed in the middle of the reverse is Tu'i Malila (1777–1965), a radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) given to the Tongan royal family in 1777 by Captain James Cook (1728–1779). The face value "1 SENITI" is engraved counterclockwise along the rim below.

The total mintage of the coin is disputed. The Weltmünzkatalog reports 1,000,000 examples of the coin were manufactured, while the Standard Catalog of World Coins indicates 505,000 specimens were produced. Of these, most were minted as business strikes and around 5,000 were struck as proofs and distributed in official proof sets.

Tāufa'āhau coins (1968–1974)Edit

Tonga 1 seniti 1968

1968 coin

Tonga 1 seniti 1974

1974 coin

In 1968, a new series of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 seniti and 1 and 2 pa'anga coins was released by the government of Tonga. Each was produced under commission at the Royal Mint of the United Kingdom and designed by artists Maurice Meers and Dudley Blakely. With the exception of the 1 and 50 seniti pieces, all of the coins were produced again without changes in 1974. Instead that year, a new 1 seniti piece of similar design but different composition and a reshaped 50 seniti coin were released into circulation. All of the 1974 pieces were produced at the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra, Australia.

The 1 seniti coin of 1968 is composed of bronze and weighs 2.59 or 1.85 grams, while the piece of 1974 is made of brass and weighs 1.75 or 1.69 grams. Both coins measure 17.53 millimeters in diameter and 1.4 millimeters in thickness, and have medallic alignment and a plain edge. The two pieces are round in shape, and the rims of both are raised and decorated with a beaded border.

A ¾ right-facing illustration of King Tāufa'āhau Tupou IV is displayed in the middle of the obverse. Printed clockwise along the periphery above is the caption "TAUFA'AHAU TUPOU IV", and engraved in the opposite direction at the rim below is the Gregorian date of minting, either "1968" or "1974".

A depiction of Tu'i Malila appears in the center of the reverse, the face value "1 SENITI" inscribed counterclockwise along the rim below.

A total of around 500,000 examples of both the 1968 and 1974 coins were produced. Most were manufactured as business strikes, but a handful of pieces from 1968 were struck with a proof finish and distributed in official proof sets.

Mintages
Year Composition Mint Mintage
1968 Bronze Royal Mint 500,000
1968 Proof Unknown
1974 Brass Royal Australian Mint 500,000

First FAO coin (1975–1979)Edit

Tonga 1 seniti 1975

1975 coin

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was formally established on October 16, 1945. Committed to defeating world hunger, the intergovernmental organization has provided humanitarian and developmental aid to countries around the world, including Tonga. In celebration of the FAO, the government of Tonga released a series of circulating commemorative 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 seniti and 1 and 2 pa'anga coins in 1975. Each was struck under commission at the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra. The 1 seniti piece of the series was produced in 1975 and 1979.

The coin is composed of a bronze alloy and measures 1.85 grams in mass, 17.53 millimeters in diameter, and 1.25 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape. Both of its rims are raised and undecorated.

An illustration of an ear of corn (Zea mays), a type of domesticated cereal grain, appears in the center of the obverse. Printed clockwise along the periphery above is the state title "TONGA", and inscribed in the opposite direction at the rim below is the Gregorian date of minting, either "1975" or "1979".

A right-facing depiction of a female pig (Sus scrofa domesticus), a domesticated animal introduced to Tonga from Europe, is displayed in the middle of the reverse. The Tongan inscription "FAKALAHI ME'AKAI", which translates as "grow more food", is engraved clockwise along the rim above. Printed in the opposite direction at the periphery below the pig is the face value "1 SENITI".

A total of 2,000,000 examples of the coin were manufactured, with 1,000,000 being struck in each year of production. Only business strikes of this particular type are known to exist.

Mintages
1975 1,000,000
1979 1,000,000
Total 2,000,000

Second FAO coins (1981–2005)Edit

Tonga 1 seniti 1996

1996 coin

In 1981, the government of Tonga introduced a new series of circulating commemorative 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 seniti coins celebrating the FAO. Each was produced at the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra until 1994, and then at the Royal Mint in 1996. They were replaced in 2002 by new coins of the same design, which were manufactured under contract at the Royal Mint. With the exception of the 20 and 50 seniti pieces, each was struck again in 2005 and subsequently discontinued. The reverses of each coin in the series were designed by Sergio Giandomenico (1924–2013), an Italian artist employed by the State Mint and Polygraphic Institute in Rome.

The 1 seniti piece of the series was struck in bronze from 1981 to 1996 and in copper-plated steel in 2002 and 2005. Bronze examples measure 1.85 grams in mass, 17.53 millimeters in diameter, and 1.25 millimeters in thickness, while plated pieces have the same diameter but measure a slightly smaller 1.75 grams in mass and 1.15 millimeters in thickness. Regardless of composition, the coin has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape. The rims of both metal varieties are raised and undecorated.

A depiction of an ear of corn appears in the middle of the obverse. The state title "TONGA" is inscribed clockwise along the rim above, while the Gregorian date of minting is engraved in the opposite direction at the periphery below.

An image of vanilla (Vanilla), a species of plant commonly cultivated for its flavoring, is displayed in the center of the reverse. Printed clockwise along the rim above is the Tongan inscription "FAKALAHI ME'AKAI", and engraved in the opposite direction at the periphery below is the face value "1 SENITI".

A total of 3,044,000 examples of the coin were manufactured from 1981 to 1994. Mintage figures for 1995, 2002, and 2005 are currently unavailable. A handful of examples minted in 1981, 1991, and 2002 were reportedly distributed in official mint sets by the National Reserve Bank of Tonga.

Mintages
Year Composition Mint Mintage
1981 Bronze Royal Australian Mint 1,544,000
1990 500,000
1991 500,000
1994 500,000
1996 Royal Mint Unknown
2002 Copper-plated steel Unknown
2005 Unknown

ReferencesEdit

Template:Tongan pa'anga

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