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Page last updated at 22:53 GMT, Saturday, 13 February 2010

Chile mint boss pays the price of coin spelling howler

The 50-peso coin with Chile spelt wrongly
It was not the first embarrassing blunder at the Chilean mint

The general manager of the Chilean mint has been dismissed after thousands of coins were issued with the name of the country spelt wrongly.

The 50-peso coins - worth about 10 cents (6p) - were issued in 2008, but no-one noticed the mistake until late last year.

Instead of C-H-I-L-E, the coins had C-H-I-I-E stamped on them.

The coins have since become collectors' items and the mint says it has no plans to take them out of circulation.

Numismatists' delight

The BBC's Gideon Long, in the Chilean capital Santiago, says people have been hoarding the coins in the hope their value rises.

But the mistake has cost the mint's general manager, Gregorio Iniguez, and several other employees, their jobs.

It is not the first embarrassing blunder at the Chilean mint, says our correspondent.

Last October, someone there sold a rare medal, which should have been housed in the institution's museum, to a coin collector.

A month later, another medal - this one bearing the face of the country's then President Michelle Bachelet - was inadvertently sold on the open market.

The latest blunder has caused a few chuckles in Chile, says our correspondent, and prompted shoppers up and down the country to view their loose change in a new light.


Should the general manager of the Chilean mint have lost his job over the mistake? Here is a selection of your comments on the story.

I love the new coin! I have collected a few and stored them for future. I think we should make all new coins like this and change the spelling of our country!
Alejandro de Montoya, Chile

I am a Chilean living in the UK and seem to have become the favourite target for all my British friends - and fair enough, as in fact I find it hilarious!
Isabel Behncke, Oxford, UK

The Chileans would like to see every mistake paid with the highest price. A letter changed the course of the life of mint president. Who really cares about the lack of an L on a coin?
Mauro Castro, Santiago

The coin is very small and the error is almost invisible... but it´s so funny. Chile is more beautiful and bigger than this small flaw.
Roseli Magalhaes, Brazil, currently on holiday in Chile

I've been living in Chile for the last 15 years and this is really not news. It hasn't been on TV and I had no idea the general manger of the Chilean mint got the boot. Is news being censored in Chile?
Sergio, Santiago, Chile

Talking to the Chileans that I've been working with, it's been more amusing than a jilt at their national pride. I checked in my coin pot and I've had a fair few of these for a while.
Mark Hart, Punta Arenas, Chile

This goes with the rest of the government's attitude and competency towards service and quality!
Dave, Santiago, Chile

The employees should not have lost their jobs. To err is human. After all, it didn't hurt anyone.
Isabel Meli, Atkinson, NH, USA

I have just looked in my change and found that I have one of these coins! I shall save it. It was in the news briefly here but no-one took much notice.
Saranna , Santiago, Chile

I predict this sort of thing will become more commonplace as the mobile texting generation moves into positions of responsibility ;)
Renier, Sydney



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