South Korea's central bank said Thursday it will release a set of commemorative coins to celebrate Pope Francis' upcoming visit to the country next month.
The pope is scheduled to visit South Korea on Aug. 14-18, during which he will conduct four Masses, including one for the beatification of 124 Korean Catholic martyrs and another for a gathering of Catholic youths in Asia.
He is also expected to console families of those who died in the mid-April Sewol ferry disaster. It is his first visit to Asia since his Papal inauguration last year.
The Bank of Korea said it will issue 90,000 silver and brass coins to "spread the message of reconciliation and peace, the key purpose of the pope's visit."
The two coin designs have incorporated both Catholic symbols of peace and Korea's traditional symbols, it said.
The 30,000 silver coins, with a denomination of 50,000 won (US$48), will carry the "taegeuk" symbol, a hallmark of South Korea's national flag, with crosses and a dove bearing an olive branch.
A cross adorned with symbols like lily, olive branch, dove and rose of Sharon, the country's national flower, will be engraved on the 60,000 brass coins, with a denomination of 10,000 won.
A total of 81,000 coins will be available for sale in Korea via reservations at Woori and Nonghyup banks. The remaining volume will be sold to overseas collectors, according to the central bank. (Yonhap)