What is the Currency of Papua New Guinea?

By Chelangat Faith on August 10 2017 in Economics

A banknote of Papua New Guinea's currency.

The currency accepted by the international standards organization in Papua New Guinea is called kina. Kina is sub portioned into 100 parts called toea. Kina was developed and adopted on 19th April, 1975 to substitute the Australian dollar at equal amount. The word kina is extracted from Kuanua language of tolai meaning a callable pearl shell commonly used for trading in the both the coastal and highland regions of the country. The New Guinean pound and the Guinean mark were the initial currencies used in Papua Guinea.


The first series of coins was pioneered in 1975 in denominations of 1, 2,5,10 and 20 toea and 1 kina. The 1 and 2 toea were produced from bronze while the other coins were minted from cupronickel. The 1 kina is circular in shape and it is holed in the middle. From 2006, the coins have been minimized in size with the largest coin being demonetized in December of 2008. There was production of a double metallic 2 kina coin minted to substitute the 2 kina note. In 2006, there was elimination of 1 and 2 toea coins after the end of the legal tender. 50 toea coins were later minted in 1980 but were only circulated in commemorative form without a standard label. All the denominations of coins contain the national emblem on the backside and were circular in shape except the 50 toea which is heptagonal.


The first series of banknotes were introduced on the 19th of April, 1975 in denominations of 2, 5 and 10 kina. These notes substituted the Australian dollar at the same face value. They were adopted and circulated alongside the Australian dollar until 1976 when the legal tender for the dollar was terminated. A 20 kina note was minted in 1977, and a 100 kina note was introduced in 2005. All notes were designed with the same colour, similar to their Australian dollar equivalents. Since 1991, Papua New Guinea's notes have been developed from a polymer but in in 2009, the bank produced kina and toea day commemorating note on paper substrates were circulated.

Appearance of Banknotes

All banknotes of the Papua new guinea (1975 issue) contain an image of bird of surprise, spear, and a carved hour glass on the obverse side of the notes. The bank note series of 1981 issue contain an image of a bird of surprise, spear, except the 50 kina note which contains an image of the parliament building in Port Moresby. All the current bank note issue contains an image of the parliament building on the obverse side. The current 50 kina note contains the portrait of Prime Minister Michael Somare.

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