Coins of the Fragrant Harbor: 10 Cents (Hong Kong, 1990)-Article

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

This coin is a late British lease Hong Kong 10 Cent, dated 1990. The 10 Cent coin is the smallest denomination, of the Hong Kong Dollar. The smaller 1 Cent and 5 Cent denominations were lasted issued, in 1934 and 1979 respectively. Notably the majority of the 1 Cent stockpile was melted down, during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong (1941-1945).

The 10 Cents (Elizabeth II, 3rd Portrait), entered circulation in 1985 and was last minted in 1992.

From January 1993 to November 1994, all 10 Cent coins featuring Elizabeth II were gradually withdrawn from circulation. And replaced by a modified design featuring a Hong Kong Orchid. The regional symbol of the current Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR). This was done in preparation for the 30 June 1997 transfer of Hong Kong, to the People's Republic of China (mainland China). While withdrawn from circulation, coins featuring Elizabeth II continue to be legal tender.

The coin is a plain-edged design made of a nickel-brass alloy and weighs 2 g. Its dimensions are 17.5 mm (0.689 in) wide and 1.09 mm (0.043 in) thick. The coin is a relatively simple design, in contrast to earlier British colonial designs.


The observe features the 3rd Portrait of Elizabeth II. The portrait is done in right-side profile, complete with the state crown. The portrait is wreathed by the text, “QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND”. Both sides of the coin feature a shallow rim.


The reverse features a large “10” at its center, denoting the coin's 10 Cent value. Below is the coin's issue date, 1990. The reverse's text reads “Hong Kong” and “Ten Cents”. This text is repeated in traditional Chinese characters, inter-spaced through the English text.

Size Comparison

A 10 cent coin with US Penny for comparison.
A 10 cent coin with US Penny for comparison.

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