Papua New Guinea is a relatively large country in Oceana. It shares the Island of New Guinea with Indonesia. Why is this country called what it is, when there is another country named Guinea in Africa? In the 1500s a Spanish explorer landed on the island and thought the people looked the same as the ones in Western Africa. He named them Guineas in a new country, meaning the “new land of the blacks”. Papua New Guinea became an independent country in 1975. For 60 years before that it was an administrative state under Australia, and before that it was split between Germany and England as colonies. With its connection with Australia, it is part of the Commonwealth of Nations and recognizes Queen Elizabeth as its head of state. Its was an early adopter of polymer banknotes for its Kina denominations. Its banknotes focus more on cultural images than people. The Queen is not on any of their banknotes or coins, but on occasion they will issue a commemorative coin related to the UK and the Queen, such as the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Gold coin.
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