While the Bank of Ghana (BoG) readies to introduce upgraded cedi notes to counter efforts of counterfeiters to duplicate the currencies, some observers have asked of the fate of the 1 pesewa coins.
The upgraded banknotes are scheduled to be in circulation from May 6, 2019 with the central bank assuring both the old and the new notes will be used concurrently until the old ones get phased out.
Per the new upgrade, the cowrie shell on the GHc10, the star on the GHc20 and the cocoa pod on the GHc50 will now have a shiny line in them which will move up and down when tilted. That feature is called Optically Variable Magnetic Image.
Another new feature is the New Enhanced Security Thread (RAPID). That will be a shiny broken line with movement that runs through the banknote from top to bottom. It is continuous when viewed against light. When the note is tilted, a star expands and contracts while the denomination value stays still.
Also, the notes will have More Prominent Watermark. With this, the image of Tetteh Quarshie with a cocoa pod would be more noticeable in the plain star area of the banknote. It becomes visible on both sides when viewed against light. The denomination value can also be seen in the watermark area.
There is also the Enhanced Iridescent Band at the Back of the Banknote: That is is a golden band with gold bars at the back of the banknote that runs from top to bottom. It can be seen more clearly when the note is tilted against light.
With attention centered on the notes neglecting the coins and with the 1 pesewa coin not seen on the money market for some time now, the thoughts of the Professor John Gatsi, Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast was sought where he submitted the 1 pesewa coin has become irrelevant in Ghana’s pricing regime hence no clamor for its reintroduction.
He added if buyers had demanded it, then the issuing authority would have been compelled to mint it to be used for transaction.
The 1 pesewa coin is a circulation piece of the Republic of Ghana that was issued in two types. The first, part of the second Ghanaian cedi, was introduced in 1967 and subsequently produced again in 1975 and 1979. When the third cedi was established in 2007, many of the pesewa coins were withdrawn from circulation and demonetized, losing their legal tender face values of 0.01. During the same year, a new pesewa was introduced. While this piece continues to hold the status of legal tender, it has been virtually rendered obsolete due to inflation. They were both issued by the Bank of Ghana.