Germany to introduce €5 plastic coin
Following on the heels of Australia, Canada and the U.K., Germany is set to introduce polymer money into circulation.
The currency is 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. 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, and will only be legal tender in Germany. There are no plans in place at the moment for the coin to be adopted by the European Central Bank to replace the €5 banknotes.
According to a news story by the Coin Update website, the coin’s design is comprised of a ring of polymer which is enclosed by another ring of metal. The transparent blue ring is made of a material that can be worked like metal but is actually plastic. It contains both a color pigment and security features. 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 one- and two-euro coins.
The coin’s obverse includes a depiction of the earth surrounded by the blue transparent polymer ring; illustrations of the other eight planets in our solar system are found along its outer edge. Blue was chosen to symbolize the earth’s atmosphere, Coin Update said, although any color could be injected into the plastic.