Sign up for the monthly zoom events by sending a PM with your email address to Hitesh

Main Menu

South Africa: Unadopted designs by Kruger-Gray

Started by <k>, July 06, 2011, 03:52:19 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


SA pattern 3d.jpg

SA pattern 1s.jpg

SA pattern-penny.jpg

SA patternpenny-b.jpg

I unexpectedly found these unadopted designs by George Kruger-Gray in a Royal Mint document at the National Archives, London.

The piece reference is MINT 20/838.

It is entitled:

New 1924 coinage: memorandum on the King's effigy and titles; matrices and dies prepared for Pretoria Mint

They were apparently originally intended for the first coinage of the Union of South Africa, which was issued in the 1920s. These designs appear at the front of the document but are not mentioned within the document. There is a single reference to the idea of a lion design for the South African coinage, but it is dismissed with the comment, "Lions on coins are not greatly liked by a certain section of the South African population".

Those who are acquainted with the South African coinage will know that the halfpenny and the penny carry the same ship design. Jan Smuts, the Prime Minister of South Africa, had originally asked for a separate design for the halfpenny, but in the end he accepted that this would have delayed the project. One of the possible designs for the halfpenny that had briefly been considered by the Royal Mint was "an ostrich in flight, with a Kopje in the background". In flight? Yes, but the officials checked with the experts and realised that this was impossible.

In a note to Kruger-Gray, one member of the Royal Mint staff commented, with regard to the design of "Hope" on the reverse of the shilling: "The lady's breasts look more like footballs suspended round her neck." Kruger-Gray duly amended the design.

When the threepence, depicting a protea, the national flower, was released in 1925, an unnamed South African journalist is quoted in the document as writing, "The Protea is an inartistic reproduction, more suggestive of a housekeeper's dish piled up with flour and balanced on a billiard cue for a juggler to play with. The Protea has a right to protest, and these bundles of faggots – their very mathematical outlines and positions belie the title of faggot."
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.


Great research, coffeetime! These designs are worthy of being remembered. The facing cow's head is a real pity to have been lost, I think. The "ostrich in flight" story goes straight into my book of numismatic humor. Yummie.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.



It's odd to think that these designs are nearly 90 years old - Even now they look more up to date than the UK heraldry themes.

Stirling work as usual for finding the drawings in the archives :)
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....


Glad you like them.  ;)  8)

I can just imagine Dale on a steer. You can see why we Brits deported those cowboys to America, eh?  ;)
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.


Well I have been on some, quite a few times actually.  But never for very long! :o
Much too old for that sort of nonsense now.

Quote from: coffeetime on November 22, 2011, 11:44:53 PM
......I can just imagine Dale on a steer. You can see why we Brits deported those cowboys to America, eh?  ;)