New coin

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 January, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 January, 1996, 12:00am

I VISITED Hong Kong recently and really enjoyed my stay.

However, I found the similarity between your $1 and $5 coins a little confusing, as they are close in size. The $5 coin is also somewhat heavy.

The $2 coin is easily identified, even in the pocket due to its distinctive edge, which is very useful when looking for the right change especially when taking the bus.

While I was in Hong Kong, I happened to see a television programme about a very rare old Australian dollar that was sold for a vast sum of money.

This coin seemed to be about the same size as the Hong Kong $5 coin, but it had a hole in the centre.

Not only would such a hole in the $5 coin enable one to immediately identify the coin while it is still in the pocket, and of course, visually, but it would considerably lessen the weight if the hole was large enough, say 91/2 millimetres.

A machinist friend of mine made a dummy coin the same size as the $5 coin, but with a 91/2mm hole in the centre. If you put such a coin in your pocket together with a number of $1 and $2 coins, you would discover how easy it is to distinguish it. The concept of a hole in coins is not new, and I think that if the $5 coin was to be made in this way, the next time a batch of them was minted, this would be very much appreciated by the people of Hong Kong.

On the other hand, the $10 coin, being smaller, is easily identified by feel and visually. It is also extremely attractive.

By boring the hole the large number 5 and the flower emblem would be removed. Two fives could be placed on the sides of the hole and the flower could be replaced with a wreath around the hole.

All other markings would remain the same, as they are not affected by the hole. Of course, the external diameter would be left unchanged.

DOLF L. GOLDSMITH San Antonio, Texas, US