The three French Pacific territories of New Caledonia, Tahiti and Wallis and Futuna will have new coins by September 2021. The Overseas Issuing Institute (IEOM), the body that manages this currency, has also decided to change the appearance of the coins.
The major is the creation of a new 200 franc (AUD 2.7) coin. Until now the value of the coins has not exceeded 100 francs (AUD 1.3). This coin will have two colours, like the Euro coin. A silver and a gold part. With the objective to reduce the weight of coins in the wallets. The IEOM explains that the calculation is quick: if you only need one coin instead of two to buy a baguette or an egg roll, that’s as much weight less in the consumer’s wallet but also a significant saving in metal.
The motifs on the new coins are traditional objects such as ridge arrows from New Caledonia, musical instruments from French Polynesia or tapas from Wallis and Futuna and Polynesian tikis.
The other great novelty of this far-reaching reform is that all the coins will have their design changed. Some of them have been issued in the 1940s. These coins will be in circulation by September 2021.
No more 1 and 2 francs coins
The IEOM has also decided to abolish the small 1 and 2 francs coins (0.01 and 0.02 Australian dollars). They cost almost more to be produced than their actual official value. Many shops were no longer using them.
The reform also plans to remove an aberration. The 50 francs (AUD 0.68) coin was larger and heavier than the 100 francs (AUD 1.3) coin.
Valid in Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna and Polynesia
Until now, the coins of the three territories were different, even though each one was valid in all three archipelagos. But from now on, the coins will be identical in New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna. Changing the coins will be the second stage in the renovation of the local currency since the banknotes had changed in 2014.