BSP issues guidelines on differentiating new P5 from P1 coins

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 28) — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday released guidelines to help the public differentiate newly-designed P5 coins released last November from the P1 coins.

In a statement issued Thursday, it acknowledged "observations" on the similarities and pointed out their differences to "alleviate confusion."

The BSP said the new generation currency (NGC) P5 coin is heavier, thicker, and slightly larger than the current P1 coin. It also has smooth sides, compared to the P1 coin, which has ridges.

The P1 coin weighs 6 grams while the P5 coin is slightly heavier at 7.4 grams. It is one millimeter (mm) wider than the 24-mm P1 coin.

The BSP also said the designs are "distinctly different."

The new five generation coin features revolutionary leader Andres Bonifacio, with the Philippine plant Tayabak on the obverse.

The ₱1 coin, meanwhile shows national hero Jose Rizal. It has the 1993 logo of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on the observe

Both coins are nickle-plated and have a similar silver colors, whereas the old P5 has a slightly gold tinge.

The BSP's statement comes in the wake of public concerns over how difficult it is to distinguish the two.

Senator Nancy Binay on Wednesday asked the BSP to temporarily halt the issuance of new coins due to "public confusion" over these similarities.

The BSP, however, said it is sure the public will get used to the newer coins in time. It appealed for their cooperation on the "necessary changes."

"The BSP is confident that in time, and with increased usage, the features of the P5 NGC coin and the other denominations in the NGC Series (to be launched and released next month), would gain greater familiarity."

The NGC coins were created to enhance security and prevent extraction of the coin's metal content. It will also help the BSP adapt a more-cost efficient production process.

The NGC P5 coin was launched on November 29-- earlier than its counterparts-- to celebrate the 120th death anniversary of Bonifacio, as well as his 154th birthday on November 30. The BSP will launch other NGC coins on Jan. 19, 2018