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Coins of the British Commonwealth - South Africa (since 1923).

Here's another British African-related section.This time,it is about the coins of South Africa,which have been issued since 1923.

South Africa was a republic outside the British Commonwealth from the 31st. of May 1961 until the 31st. of May 1994.On the 1st. of June 1994,South Africa became a British Commonwealth republic.The coins of South Africa that were struck between 1961 & 1993 are now classed as being part of the British Commonwealth series.

If you have got any South African coins or medal-coins in your collection that have been struck since 1923,please feel free to post up some photos.

Aidan.

Tags: africa, coins

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Before 1902 South Africa was actually consistent of various colonies and republics(independent states). Namely the Cape Colony(aka Cape of Good Hope Colony), Natal Colony, The Orange Free State and The South African Republic(ZAR or Zuid Afrikaanche Republiek). After the 2nd Boer war ended in 1902 the latter two became the Orange Free Tsate Colony and the Transvaal Colony.

In 1910 the Union of South Africa was born, consistent of four provinces - Transvaal, Cape, Natal and the Free State.
In 1919 the provisional Pretoria Mint act was passed, and this empowered the creation of the Pretoria branch of the Royal Mint. It Was however not until the coinage act of 1922 was passed that the union government obtained the right to produce their own coinage.

The first South African Union coins were released for general circulation in 1923. The coins were the bronz 1/4 d , 1/2d, 1d,the silver 3d, 6d, 1/-, 2/-, 2/6 as well as gold one and half pound coins. In 1947 a silver 5/- coin was added to commemorate the royal visit.

South Africa obtained independence from Britain in 1961 becoming the Republic of South Africa. With this the imperial coinage was replaced with the decimal system.
The farthing fell by the wayside.
The half Penny and penny coins were replaced by a copper 1/2 cent and 1 cent.
The Tickey, sixpence, shilling, florin and crown were all replaced by 2 1/2 cent, 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent and 50 cent. The Half Crown(2/6) was also done away with. This 1st decimal coinage was always meant to be a transitional coinage and was replaced by the 2nd decimal coinage in 1965.

South Africa is currently on it's 3rd decimal coinage which was phased in from 1989 to 1994

I hope you find this info interesting and useful - I tried to cut out all the fat and get to the point. So please load your photos and start discussions on this topic

Numisman
South Africa is quite literally a numismatist's paradise as far as circulating commemorative coins go.

The first South African commemorative coin was the 1947 5/-,which has the famous pronking springbok,which was used on all 5/- coins (except in 1952 & 1960),the silver 50c. coins,& now on reverse of the Krugerrand & its fractionals.

Circulating commemorative coins have been issued since 1967.The 1967 issue was the silver 1 Rand coins that were struck as a memorial issue for Hendrik Verwoerd (who was assassinated in the debating chamber of the South African Parliament in Cape Town by Dmitri Tsafendas in 1966).

Since then,the following circulating commemorative issues have been struck;
1968 - Charles Robberts Swart (last Governor-General of the Union & 1st. State President).
1969 - T.E. Donges (State President-elect who was never inaugurated,due to ill-health).
1976 - J.J. Fouche (State President).
1979 - Nico Diederichs memorial issue (only State President who died in office (1975-78).
1982 - B.J. Vorster (Prime Minister (1966-78) & State President (1978-79).
1985 - Marais Viljoen (last non-executive State President (1979-84).
1990 - P.W. Botha (last Prime Minister (1979-84) & executive State President (1984-89).
1994 - Nelson Mandela's Inauguration (1994).
2000 - Nelson Mandela (President (1994-99).
2008 - Nelson Mandela's 90th. Birthday.

I'm sure that there were others,but I can't remember what they were for.I think that circulating commemorative coins were issued for the 2003 Cricket World Cup.

Aidan.
There were also the 1952 Crown featuring the tercentenary of the landing of Jan van Riebeeck in 1652 at the Cape.
Then the 1960 crown to commemorate 50 years of th Union of South Africa(ironically this was also the last year that SA was a Union as it became a Republic in 1961)
there are also the 2002 soccer and 2003 cricket 50c coins
Also the 2002 World Summit 1 Rand coin
Then we have the 2004 10 years of freedom 2 Rand coin

Unless my memory fails me these with the above coins mentioned by Aidan makes up a fairly comprehensive list of circulating commemoratives of SA
Numisman,
Do you know which silver 1 Rand coins actually circulated? I know that the 1965-67 & 1969 issues could have circulated.

I'm not sure about the 1974 South African Mint commemorative 1 Rand though.

South Africa became a Dominion in 1910,& accepted the 1931 Statute of Westminster in 1934 to ascertain its independent status within the British Commonwealth under the Crown.

The 1960 coinage is a historic one,as it was the very last year,considering that the Farthing would not have a place within the Cents & Rand currency system.The 3d.,6d.,1/-,& 2/- coins were allowed to circulate as 2-1/2c.,5c.,10c.,& 20c. coins from 1961 until 1964.

Aidan.
The Silver R1 (1 Rand) coins Circulated from 1965 to 1969. The 1974 Pretoria Mint coin was only issued in proof and uncirculated sets and I believe as a single proof coin as well.

Interestingly South Africa is one of the few countries I know of that had a Paper and coin of the same denomination circulating simultaneously. As the period from 1965 to1969 there were both the Silver 1 Rand coins and parer 1 Rand notes issued as legal tender.
Aidan Work said:
Numisman,
South Africa became a Dominion in 1910,& accepted the 1931 Statute of Westminster in 1934 to ascertain its independent status within the British Commonwealth under the Crown.

The 1960 coinage is a historic one,as it was the very last year,considering that the Farthing would not have a place within the Cents & Rand currency system.The 3d.,6d.,1/-,& 2/- coins were allowed to circulate as 2-1/2c.,5c.,10c.,& 20c. coins from 1961 until 1964.

Aidan.

That's right
The same went for the Banknotes where the 10/- became and was exchanged for a R1 note
The 1, 5 and 10 pound notes became 2, 10 and 20 rand notes. The very difficult to find 100 Pound note fell by the way side as R200 in 1961 was a small fortune.

The notes in fact kept the exact same design as the imperial notes, only replacing the old denominations with the new and removing the date from the obverse.
Numisman said:
The Silver R1 (1 Rand) coins Circulated from 1965 to 1969. The 1974 Pretoria Mint coin was only issued in proof and uncirculated sets and I believe as a single proof coin as well.

Interestingly South Africa is one of the few countries I know of that had a Paper and coin of the same denomination circulating simultaneously. As the period from 1965 to1969 there were both the Silver 1 Rand coins and parer 1 Rand notes issued as legal tender.

That's very interesting to know that silver 1 Rand coins were circulating coins.For a very brief period in August,Zimbabwe had both a $1 note & a $1 coin in circulation,which both disappeared from circulation straight away.Zimbabwe has been issuing a lot of extremely high denomination banknotes lately.The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has just issued notes denominated between $1,000,000,000 & $10,000,000,000!

Was the gold R1 & R2 coins ever issued for circulation? I bought an example of the 1965 gold R1 coin for slightly above the bullion value in late 2006.I was certainly very glad to get that coin.

Aidan.
No the Gold R1 and R2 coins were never actually used as circulation money. They are actually, as far as I am aware, legislated as legal tender. But with the bullion value of the coins being so much higher than the face value - you'd be mad to buy anything with them.

The silver R1 coins as I said were only issued for circulation until 1969. Then the price became prohibitive - this was around the same time that the Australian silver coins were replaced with nickel ones as well. Not sure about New Zealand though.
Numisman said:
No the Gold R1 and R2 coins were never actually used as circulation money. They are actually, as far as I am aware, legislated as legal tender. But with the bullion value of the coins being so much higher than the face value - you'd be mad to buy anything with them.

The silver R1 coins as I said were only issued for circulation until 1969. Then the price became prohibitive - this was around the same time that the Australian silver coins were replaced with nickel ones as well. Not sure about New Zealand though.

New Zealand last had silver coins in circulation in 1946.From 1947 until 2006,cupro-nickel coins were in circulation.

That's very interesting about the gold R1. & R2. coins.The Krugerrand (& its fractionals) is also classed as being legal tender,but it is also a bullion medal-coin like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coins_of_Bophuthatswana .

I've got the 1984 & 1990 1/10 Krugerrands in my collection.I bought them for NZ$85 a few years ago,as I was intending to collect the 1/10 Krugerrand by date.

Aidan.
Hi Guys,

I need to point out that South Africa is still a independent Republic eversince 1961, and did NOT revert back to the Commomwealth in 1994.
It would have been common practice to place the Queens head on the coinage, But none of such happenened.
Being South African, I am sure to have known of such a move.

Cheers
Herman
Herman Van Noordwyk said:
Hi Guys,

I need to point out that South Africa is still a independent Republic eversince 1961, and did NOT revert back to the Commomwealth in 1994.
It would have been common practice to place the Queens head on the coinage, But none of such happenened.
Being South African, I am sure to have known of such a move.

Cheers
Herman

Herman,
South Africa became a British Commonwealth republic in 1994,with effect as from the 1st. of June 1994.

Aidan.
Hi Aidan,

Yes you are correct to a degree, except..
British Commonwealth is directly interpreted as "British Empire".
While the correct expression is Commonwealth of Nations
Although the Queen is Symbolic Head Thereof , And most Nations were British Colonies.

South Africa Had been one of the first 7 Nations to be Part of the then "British" Commonwealth
South Africa made an re-application on 1961, But withdrew it due to its Racial policies ( Strangely pre 1961 with Colonial support)

South Africa Had been a member of the United Nations Since 7 November 1945.

I only have an Issue with the "British" Pre-fix to commonwealth, as it can create the impression that South Africa are still under British Rule or a colony.

Coins of the British Commonwealth in South Africa were from 1923 - 1960, Where after it Became coinage of the republic of South Africa.
It also went from Imperial to Decimal in 1961.
Pennies to Cents
Pounds to Rands
We are in our third decimal series already.


Cheers Herman

Aidan Work said:
Herman Van Noordwyk said:
Hi Guys,

I need to point out that South Africa is still a independent Republic eversince 1961, and did NOT revert back to the Commonwealth in 1994.
It would have been common practice to place the Queens head on the coinage, But none of such happened.
Being South African, I am sure to have known of such a move.

Cheers
Herman

Herman,
South Africa became a British Commonwealth republic in 1994,with effect as from the 1st. of June 1994.

Aidan.

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