100th Birth Anniversary of Mr Lee Kuan Yew Commemorative Coin

About the Coin 

On 15 May 2023, MAS launched the issuance of a $10 coin to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew (LKY100). The coin pays tribute to Mr Lee’s strategic vision, boldness and indomitable spirit that transformed Singapore from a regional trading port to a global manufacturing, business and financial hub, creating opportunities for all Singaporeans. The coin was designed by local artist, Mr Weng Ziyan.

Denomination 10 dollars
Material  Aluminium Bronze
Weight 13.90 grams
Diameter  30 mm
Shape  Round
Mintage  4 million pieces

Coin Design

Reverse Side of the Coin

LKY 100 Reverse Side

The design features a portrait of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, accompanied in the foreground by the Marina Barrage, representing Mr Lee’s vision to build a freshwater reservoir in the city, strengthening Singapore’s water resilience. The backdrop is the skyline of the Raffles Place financial district, and two heritage buildings which have witnessed significant milestones in Singapore’s history – Fullerton Hotel (formerly the Fullerton Building/General Post Office) and National Gallery Singapore (formerly the Supreme Court and City Hall).

Front of the Coin

LKY coin Obverse 1923 sideLKY Coin Obverse Side

On the other side of the coin, below the Singapore Coat of Arms, a dual latent image features Mr Lee’s birth year ‘1923’ viewed from one angle, and his 100th birth anniversary ‘2023’ viewed from another.

Coin Design Elements

Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Mr Lee Kuan Yew (16 September 1923 – 23 March 2015) was a renowned statesman and the founder of modern Singapore.

Returning to Singapore after his studies in 1950, Mr Lee began his law career and became politically engaged in a variety of causes. In 1955, Mr Lee and the People’s Action Party went on to contest in the Legislative Assembly elections, where Mr Lee was elected to represent the constituency of Tanjong Pagar, a position he maintained for 60 years. In the 1959 general election, Mr Lee became Singapore’s first Prime Minister at the age of 35, a position he held for over three decades.

Mr Lee led Singapore through its merger with Malaysia on 16 September 1963, and subsequent separation on 9 August 1965. The period of 1965 to 1990s has been closely identified with Mr Lee’s leadership and strength of character. Assisted by a group of exceptionally able colleagues, Mr Lee transformed Singapore into a progressive, open and economically successful nation.

After stepping down as Prime Minster in 1990, Mr Lee continued to serve in the Cabinet until 2011, when he was 87 years old.

Learn more about Mr Lee Kuan Yew:

Marina Barrage

Marina Barrage was born from the vision of founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, more than three decades ago, when he envisaged damming the mouth of the Marina Channel to create a freshwater reservoir in the heart of the city. Officially opened on 31 October 2008, the Marina Barrage brings about three benefits – it serves as an important water supply source, alleviates flooding in the low-lying areas of the city and is a popular destination for water-based and lifestyle activities. 

Considered an engineering marvel due to its complexity, the barrage separates water in the Marina Basin from seawater to form Marina Reservoir, Singapore’s 15th freshwater reservoir. Among our 17 reservoirs, it has the largest catchment area of 10,000 hectares – roughly one-sixth the land area of Singapore – and helps augment the country’s water supply for generations to come.

Learn more about the Marina Barrage:

Fullerton Hotel and National Gallery
Fullerton Hotel (formerly the Fullerton Building/General Post Office) and National Gallery Singapore (formerly the Supreme Court and City Hall) are two heritage buildings which have witnessed significant milestones in Singapore’s history.

Fullerton Hotel

Fullerton Hotel was formerly the Fullerton Building, a prominent landmark situated at the mouth of the Singapore River. The building housed the General Post Office, which played an important role in Singapore’s communications with the world, as mail was the main mode of long-distance communication then. Over the years, the building also housed other government offices which played important roles in Singapore’s nation building. From 1950s to the 1980s, the former Fullerton Building witnessed several political rallies that were held at the Fullerton Square, including many speeches that were delivered by Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Learn more about the former Fullerton Building/General Post Office

National Gallery Singapore

The National Gallery Singapore was converted from the former Supreme Court and City Hall. The two national monuments witnessed many key events in Singapore’s passage to nationhood, and were gazetted as national monuments in 1992.

The former Supreme Court building, which was constructed between 1937 and 1939, was the seat of Singapore’s highest court from 1939 to 2005. The building was the site where many of Singapore’s landmark cases were tried, including war crime trials of members of the Japanese Imperial Army in 1946 after World War II.

The former City Hall was constructed from 1926 to 1929. After Singapore’s independence, it housed various government offices and was the venue for swearing-in ceremonies of high government office-holders. The former City Hall was also the site where the first Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, and his eight cabinet ministers were sworn in, forming the first fully elected government in Singapore on 5 June 1959. It was also where Mr Yusof Ishak was sworn in as Singapore’s first Yang di-Pertuan Negara (Head of State) on 3 December 1959. The state anthem, state crest and state flag were unveiled to the public there.

Learn more about the former Supreme Court and City Hall:

Folder

  • Each coin comes with a specially designed folder.

LKY100 Coin Folder 

  • Learn how to insert your LKY100 coin into the folder:

LKY100 Coins Instruction Folder

Frequently Asked Questions

About the LKY coin programme

1. Will MAS be issuing the coins in premium material like gold or silver? 
No. The coin will only be issued in aluminium bronze material, to keep it affordable for those who wish to own a piece of this keepsake.

Coin Design
2. Who is the designer of the LKY100 coin?
The commemorative coin was designed by Mr Weng Ziyan. Mr Weng is a local designer with extensive experience in designing commemorative currency notes and coins. He also designed the Singapore Bicentennial commemorative note, Singapore Botanic Gardens UNESCO World Heritage Site commemorative coin and SG50 commemorative notes and coins. 


3. How did MAS decide on the denomination for the LKY100 coin?
The $10 denomination was chosen to differentiate the LKY100 coin from the current circulation coin denominations, as well as to make the coin affordable for all Singaporeans. 

4. Why were these elements featured on the coin design?
 The design features a portrait of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, accompanied in the foreground by the Marina Barrage, representing Mr Lee’s vision to build a freshwater reservoir in the city, strengthening Singapore’s water resilience. The backdrop is the skyline of the Raffles Place financial district, and two heritage buildings which have witnessed significant milestones in Singapore’s history – Fullerton Hotel (formerly the Fullerton Building/General Post Office) and National Gallery Singapore (formerly the Supreme Court and City Hall).

Appearance of Coin Elements

5. What is a latent image and how can I see the year dates of the latent image more clearly?
A latent image refers to the special design feature on the coin, where a hidden or concealed image becomes visible under certain lighting conditions or when viewed from a specific angle. In the case of the LKY100 coin, the dual latent image features Mr Lee’s birth year ‘1923’ viewed from one angle, and his 100th birth anniversary ‘2023’ viewed from another.

In order to see the year dates alternate between 1923 and 2023 clearly, tilt the coin from left to right and right to left under well-lit conditions. Dim or uneven lighting may make it difficult to see the latent image clearly.

Others

6. Will the banks accept my LKY100 coins for deposit?
Yes, banks will accept the coins for deposit over the counter as it is legal tender. However, you will not be able to deposit it at the cash deposit machines as the machines are not calibrated to accept these limited-edition coins.


7. Can I use the coins for payment? 
Yes, the coins are legal tender, and can be used to pay for goods and services in Singapore.