IT LOOKS like a ring, but is actually a new $1 coin with its middle dislodged.
Barely a month since the launch of Singapore's latest series of coins, several pictures of $1coins with a hole have been circulating online, leaving some to wonder how it could happen.
Only with extreme force, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) yesterday, adding that it was an offence to mutilate coins, and that the matter was being investigated by police.
So far, The Straits Times has found three different pictures of a $1 coin with the middle missing, indicating that this may not be an isolated issue.
The user who submitted one picture of a broken coin to citizen journalism website Stomp asked: "Is this even possible? The coin's middle literally just came out."
Account associate Rachel Lee, 23, did not think bare hands are enough to produce the force needed. She made an attempt after seeing a picture of a mutilated coin on Facebook, but failed. "I tried to do it but it is not possible," she said. "I don't think the centre of the coin will just dislodge by itself if you use it normally."
The new $1 coin, launched on June 25 as part of a new series, is the only one with a bi-metallic design. The gold part on the outside is brass-plated, while the silver centre is nickel-plated.
In a statement, MAS said that its Third Series coins had "undergone stringent tests before circulation". The $1 coin, in particular, had "gone through numerous tests to ensure the durability of its bi-metallic components".
On Wednesday, MAS posted a warning against damaging coins on a Facebook page it set up to promote the new coins.
It also urged the public to call 6349-4670 or 6349-4615, if they were aware of any deliberate acts of currency mutilation.
Under the Currency Act, a person who mutilates or destroys any Singapore dollar notes or coins may be fined up to $2,000.