Author Topic: First Coinage of the Republic of South Africa  (Read 1229 times)

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Offline <k>

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First Coinage of the Republic of South Africa
« on: August 24, 2017, 08:41:10 PM »

Flag of the Republic of South Africa.



From Wikipedia:

On 31 May 1961 South Africa became a republic, following a referendum in which white voters narrowly voted in favour of a republic. Queen Elizabeth II was stripped of the title Queen of South Africa, and the last Governor-General, Charles Robberts Swart, became State President. As a concession to the Westminster system, the presidency remained parliamentary appointed and virtually powerless until P. W. Botha's Constitution Act of 1983, which eliminated the office of Prime Minister and instated a near-unique "strong presidency" responsible to parliament. Pressured by other Commonwealth of Nations countries, South Africa withdrew from the organisation in 1961, and rejoined it only in 1994.

South Africa remained controversial because of its adherence to the policy of apartheid and also because it continued to control South West Africa (now Namibia).

Offline <k>

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Re: First Coinage of the Republic of South Africa
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2017, 08:45:52 PM »
Below you see a very basic map of southern Africa in those days. Note that "North Rhodesia" and "South Rhodesia" are errors: the countries were in fact called Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia; Northern Rhodesia later became Zambia, Southern Rhodesia became simply Rhodesia, then Zimbabwe.

Walvis Bay, situated in South West Africa, was an exclave of South Africa and belonged to South Africa proper. South West Africa later became Namibia; Bechuanaland became Botswana; and Basutoland became Lesotho.



See also: Southern Rhodesia / Rhodesia and Nyasaland / Rhodesia.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 02:32:21 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: First Coinage of the Republic of South Africa
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2017, 08:55:38 PM »
Previously the Union of South Africa had, like Britain, used pounds, shillings and pence, though it had its own separate national coinage and banknotes. See: Coinage of the Union of South Africa.



From Wikipedia:

A Decimal Coinage Commission had been set up in 1956 to consider a move away from the denominations of pounds, shillings, and pence, submitting its recommendation on 8 August 1958. The rand was introduced in the then Union of South Africa on 14 February 1961, three months before the Republic of South Africa was established.

The rand replaced the South African pound as legal tender, at the rate of 2 rand to 1 pound, or 10 shillings to the rand. A rand (R1) was composed of 100 cents, and 1 cent was equivalent in value to 1.2 pence.

The rand takes its name from the Witwatersrand (literally "white waters' ridge" in English), the ridge upon which Johannesburg is built and where most of South Africa's gold deposits were found.

Offline <k>

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Re: First Coinage of the Republic of South Africa
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2017, 09:03:56 PM »
Coins were introduced in 1961 in denominations of  ½, 1,  2½, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents. This first coinage was minted from 1961 to 1964. It was a transitional coinage in several ways:
  • It retained most of the reverse designs from the previous coinage
  • Most of the coins were still made of silver
  • Most of the coins retained the size and weight of their predecessor denominations
  • The coinage therefore remained relatively heavy

Offline <k>

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Re: First Coinage of the Republic of South Africa
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2017, 09:16:06 PM »
The new coinage needed a different obverse, since South Africa was no longer a monarchy. The authorities decided to use a portrait of Jan van Riebeeck, the Dutch colonial administrator who founded Cape Town.

Below you see the portrait as it appeared on the brass ½ cent.

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Re: First Coinage of the Republic of South Africa
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2017, 09:20:49 PM »
The ½ cent retained the reverse design from the farthing, which depicted two sparrows. The Biblical reference was popular with the ruling Afrikaners:

Matthew 10: 29-31. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So be not afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

The brass coin was equivalent to 0.6 predecimal pence.

Diameter: 25.6 mm
Edge: 1.8 mm
Weight: 5.7 g.

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Re: First Coinage of the Republic of South Africa
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2017, 09:27:13 PM »
The 1 cent coin was also made of brass. The reverse design featured a wagon of the type used by the Voortrekkers. Apparently the wagon was drawn by oxen.

The coin was equivalent to 1.2 predecimal pence.

Diameter: 31 mm
Edge: 2 mm
Weight: 9.58 g.

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Re: First Coinage of the Republic of South Africa
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2017, 09:38:37 PM »
The silver 2½ cents coin replaced the predecimal threepence. The reverse design featured a protea, the national plant, just as the threepence had done.

Diameter: 16.3 mm
Edge: 0.96 mm
Weight: 1.41 g.

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Re: First Coinage of the Republic of South Africa
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 09:44:41 PM »
The silver 5 cents coin replaced the predecimal sixpence. The reverse design featured a protea, the national plant, surrounded by five faggots. This was an adapted version of the reverse design of the sixpence, which depicted six faggots.

Diameter: 19.35 mm
Edge: 1.4 mm
Weight: 2.83 g.

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Re: First Coinage of the Republic of South Africa
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2017, 09:56:29 PM »
The silver 10 cents coin replaced the predecimal shilling, and its reverse featured the same design as the shilling, though slightly adapted: for some reason, the new design did not depict the Pole Star. Hope, one of the three graces and presumably representing the Cape of Good Hope, is shown leaning on an anchor.

Diameter: 23.7 mm
Edge: 1.8 mm
Weight: 5.66 g.

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Re: First Coinage of the Republic of South Africa
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2017, 10:00:44 PM »
The silver 20 cents coin replaced the predecimal 2 shillings, and its reverse featured the same design from the coat of arms.

Diameter: 23.7 mm
Edge: 1.8 mm
Weight: 5.66 g.

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Re: First Coinage of the Republic of South Africa
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2017, 10:03:27 PM »
The silver 50 cents coin replaced the predecimal 5 shillings, and its reverse featured the same design of a springbok.

Diameter: 23.7 mm
Edge: 1.8 mm
Weight: 5.66 g.

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Re: First Coinage of the Republic of South Africa
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2017, 10:15:54 PM »
The coins were all produced by the South African Mint. As for the designs, the portrait of Jan van Riebeeck was the work of Willie Myburg. Hilda Mason produced the design of the Voortrekker wagon on the reverse of the 1 cent coin. The springbok on the 50 cents was by Coert Steynberg. All the other designs were taken from the predecimal coins and were the work of George Kruger-Gray, though in some cases his designs were slightly amended.

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Re: First Coinage of the Republic of South Africa
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2017, 10:18:58 PM »








It's interesting to compare some of the old and new designs. The silver 2½ cents coin replaced the predecimal threepence. The reverse design of the 2½ cents lacks the three faggots, for obvious reasons. in fact, the design of the protea that appears on the 2½ cents coin is taken from the sixpence.

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Re: First Coinage of the Republic of South Africa
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2017, 10:22:34 PM »








The silver 5 cents coin replaced the predecimal sixpence. The newer coin logically shows only five faggots instead of six.