In 1974, coins for 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 lilangeni were introduced, with the 1 and 2 cents struck in bronze and the others struck in cupro-nickel. Except for the 1 lilangeni, the coins were not round, with the 1 and 50 cents dodecagonal, the 2 cents square with rounded corners and the 5, 10 and 20 cents scalloped.
The 2 cents was last minted in 1982, whilst, in 1986, round, copper-plated steel 1 cent and nickel-brass 1 lilangeni coins were introduced. These were followed, in 1992, by nickel-plated-steel 5 and 10 cents and nickel-brass-plated-steel 1 lilangeni coins. In 1995, 2 and 5 emalangeni coins were introduced. (See pictures of coins history below)
In 2016, in accordance with section 26 of the Central Bank Order of 1974 the Bank recalled all old coins which were produced in 2014 backwards and demonetized them. These coins were replaced with a new series of coins in February 2016. The key considerations of withdrawing these coins was that they were no longer economical; aesthetically pleasing; secure against coins from neighbouring countries (coin tourism) and causing confusion in the market due to the numerous types of each denomination.
The current coin series is expected to enable retailers, businesses and banks to significantly increase their efficiencies in cash handling, resulting in reduced costs in the long run for the benefit of the general public.
The coins have been designed to meet all five key objectives the Bank strives to achieve when issuing currency which are: