South African Coins

South African Coins Online

Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela – South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid activist, has died at age of 95 after health complications related to a lung infection. He died shortly before 21:00 (local time) and will receive a full state funeral that will likely to take place in Pretoria next Saturday.

With Madiba’s death the world has lost brave and inspiring leader to whom people from around the world are paying a tributes – to his life, family and spirit.

As the South African president Jacob Zuma said: »Our nation has lost its greatest son.«

Mandela’s life was full of ups and downs, but as he said: Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again. Here are some milestones of his life:

  • Madiba was born in the Eastern Cape in 1918
  • In 1943 he joined African National Congress
  • In 1962 he was arrested and sentenced to 5 years in prison, in 1964 he was charged with sabotage and sentenced to life – he spent 27 years in prison and served most of the sentence on Robben Island
  • In 1990 he was freed from prison
  • In 1993 he won a Nobel Peace Prize
  • In 1994 he was elected as first black president of South Africa.

At this time we want to make a tribute to this great man on our site as well. Let’s always remember messages of hope, equality and justice and be inspired by his spirit and light that he spread among people.



»It always seems impossible until it’s done.« Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

Growing Demand for Mandela Coins

Mandela coins have always been among the most popular South African coins. But demand for Mandela coins, medallions and memorabilia on the largest South African auction website BidOrBuy has been rising in the last months. They have become some of the most popular items on the site.

Recent Events Boosting the Sales of Mandela Coins

Reason for increasing demand for Mandela coins are most likely recent events related to Nelson Mandela. At the beginning of June he was admitted to the hospital because of health complications. Since then, they have noticed a rising demand for Mandela coins, medallions and memorabilia. The whole nation is praying for the father of a nation, humanitarian and anti-apartheid icon that is well respected not only in South Africa, but around the world.

Recently the CNN has published an update, claiming that Madiba’s health is improving. You can read more about if you click here.

Mandela Coins – the Fifth Most Popular Search Term on BidOrBuy

The search term »Mandela coins« has become the fifth most popular search term on the BidOrBuy. Around 550 Mandela coins and memorabilia was sold on the site in the first week of July only.

On BidOrBuy you can find a wide selection of different South African coins, including Krugerrands and different Mandela coins. The visitor can browse through the numerous offers including the R5 circulation Mandela coins, the 1994 presidential inauguration Mandela coins, the 2000 smiling Mandela coins and coins related to Nelson Mandela.

Some of the most popular Mandela coins on the website these days are:

  • Nelson Mandela centenary 1 kg gold medallion – sold for R640.000;
  • Mandela centenary 155.5 g gold medallion – sold for R95.100;
  • Mandela centenary 1 kg silver medallion – sold for R 12.000;
  • R5 Mandela proof coin with an inauguration VIP folder signed by Nelson Mandela – sold for R350.000.

Demand for other Mandela memorabilia has also increased. Signed photo of Nelson Mandela looking out from his Robben Island prison cell has been available for R85.000, biography Higher Than Hope signed by Nelson Mandela has been offered for R15.000 and a Football World Cup ball signed by Mandela and Lucas Radebe has been selling for R25.000.

mandela coins bob

Buying South African Coins & Mandela Coins Online

You can find great offers for Mandela coins, Krugerrands and other South African coins on BidOrBuy, eBay, websites of online coin dealers and other sites such as CraigsList or Amazon. We will write about how to safely buy South African coins online in one of following articles.


Read more about Mandela coins & other South African coins:

Mandela Coins

Valuable South African Coins List


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Valuable South African Coins List – Infographic

This infographic features short and concise presentation of South African Coins for collectors and investors. This valuable South African coins list includes basic descriptions of the most popular modern bullion coins – both silver and gold coins:

  • Krugerrands – popular 22 carat gold coins, primarily designed for investors
  • Natura series – award winning 24 carat gold coins with motives of South African wildlife
  • Protea series – beautiful 24 carat gold coins and sterling silver coins with social motives
  • Mandela coins – popular Mandela coins that portray irreplaceable South African hero and humanitarian Nelson Mandela
  • R1 and R2 gold coins – beautiful 24 carat gold coins that portray different motives
  • R1 Crown & 2 1/2 c Tickey – sterling silver coins that were re-introduced in 1997
  • Silver Coin Series – sterling silver coins that portray South African nature.

You are welcomed to share this infographic on your website or blog, but please include a link to the original source (our site).

Click on the infographic to enlarge it.

Valuable South African Coins List

Valuable South African Coins List


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South African Coins Price Charts – Krugerrands & South African Rand

South African coins price charts are indispensable for investors in valuable South African coins. Visit the page South African coins price charts on this website to follow the value of:

  • Krugerrands
  • South African Rand.

The price charts will help you decide when it is time to invest into valuable South African coins and when it is time to sell them.

Krugerrands – 10-Year Krugerrand Value

 Krugerrand Value



More about South African coins & Krugerrands:
List of Valuable South African Coins


Mandela Coins


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Facts About Gold Krugerrands

Krugerrands are one of the most popular investment gold coins and the most popular South African coins. These 22-carat gold coins have an interesting history and are known as the first bullion legal tender coins.

Here are several interesting facts about gold Krugerrands that will turn you into an expert and which you can use to impress other collectors and investors into these popular South African coins:

  1. One of the most important distinctive features that makes Krugerrands unique among modern gold coins is that they don’t have a currency denomination on the reverse.
  2. Gold Krugerrand value is closely linked to value of their gold content (plus a small premium).
  3. Distinctive reddish-copper color of Krugerrands indicates high 8.33% copper content.
  4. Krugerrands are minted as regular bullion coins and in proof edition.
  5. Proof Krugerrands have 220 serrations while bullion Krugerrands have 180 serrations.
  6. Krugerrands are named after the 5th South African president – Paul Kruger. Their name is combination of the president’s last name and South African currency – Rand: Kruger+Rand=Krugerrand. The word is a registered trademark of the Rand Refinery.
  7. Krugerrands are not available as silver coins, which distinguishes them from most modern bullion gold coins. If you come across silver Krugerrands, you know that they are counterfeits.
  8. The obverse depicts Paul Kruger, while the reverse depicts a leaping springbok – South African national animal.
  9. Krugerrands have been minted since 1967. They are the first bullion gold coins and one of the most popular gold investment coins.
  10. Krugerrands have been legalized in USA only after prohibition on gold ownership was lifted in 1975. In 1984 importation of Krugerrands was banned due to apartheid and American boycott of South Africa, which was lifted in 1994.


These 10 interesting and informative facts give you an overview of Krugerrand coins and their history. Browse this website if you want to find out more about Krugerrands, Krugerrands price charts and other collectible South African coins.

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Valuable South African Coins List

There are many bullion South African coins that are popular among collectors and investors. They range from old South African coins that have great collectors value besides their bullion value, to modern bullion coin series such as Natura or Protea series, special edition Mandela coins or primarily investment coins  such as popular Krugerrands.

Modern bullion South African coins are:

  • rare and valuable
  • have limited mintages
  • popular around the world.

They will look beautiful in every coin collection.

List of Collectible South African Coins

South African CoinsMetal ContentSizesFace ValuesThemes & Other Info
Krugerrand CoinsAu - 22 carat1 oz
1/2 oz
1/4 oz
1/10 oz
First bullion legal tender coin, issued since 1967, obverse portrays Paul Kruger, reverse portrays a springbok
Natura SeriesAu 999.91 oz
1/2 oz
1/4 oz
1/10 oz
South African wildlife
Protea SeriesAu 999.9
Au 999.9
Ag 925, Cu 75 (Sterling Silver)
1 oz
1/10 oz
1 oz
Different social motives
R1 Gold CoinsAu 999.91/10 ozR1South African culture, South African pollinators
R2 Gold CoinsAu 999.91/4 ozR2South African world heritage sites, Paleontological series
Mandela CoinsvariousvariousvariousNelson Mandela
Crown & TickeyAg 925, Cu 75 (Sterling Silver)33.626 gram (Crown)
1.414 gram (Tickey)
R2 Crown
2 1/2c Tickey
South African maritime history, Trains of South Africa ...
Silver Coin SeriesAg 925, Cu 75 (Sterling Silver)2 oz
1 oz
1/2 oz
1/4 oz
South African natural environment

The list is not complete and will be completed with time. If you have a suggestion of South African coins that are missing, please let us know under the comments and we will add them to the list.

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Testing Authenticity of South African Coins: Weight Combined with Diameter and Thickness Measurements

Test authenticity of Krugerrands and other South African coins – Part 3

Besides visual identification there are other fast and reliable methods for testing authenticity of South African coins. Weight measurement combined with diameter and thickness measurements is an easy method that requires only some simple tools.

These methods are pretty reliable, fast and can be done anywhere if you have proper tools with you.

Weighing South African Coins

For precise weight measurement you will need:

  • precision scale – if possible accurate to 1/100 of a gram.

Counterfeit South African coins are made of cheaper metals that have different densities than gold and therefore also different weight. Weight your coin and compare the result with corresponding weight for this coin in a numismatic catalog.

If your coin weights more than 1% more or less than it should (taking into account a level of wear) you may be dealing with a counterfeit.

south african coins digital scale

Measuring Diameter and Thickness of South African Coins

If you want to get precise diameter and thickness measurements of your South African coins, you will need:

  • precise caliper – if possible digital one.

If counterfeit South African coin has the right weight than diameter and  even more often the thickness will not match the authentic coin. Measure diameter and thickness of your South African coins from different angles and compare the results to corresponding measurements in the numismatic catalog.

If they don’t match (taking into account a level of wear), you may be dealing with a counterfeit South African coins.

south african coins caliper

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South African Coins Among 2013 Coin of the Year Winners

South African 50 Rand Gold Coin Wins The Best Gold Coin Award

At the end of 2012 Krause Publications announced 2013 Coin of the year winners that were chosen among ninety-nine nominated coins issued in 2011 by the mints and national banks around the globe. Judges evaluated the theme, design and achievements in marketing.

In the category of the Best Gold coin award was granted to the South African Mint for a beautiful 50 Rand gold coin. This lovely ½ oz gold coin is a part of the 2011 Natura Series of coins with Nature’s families theme and depicts the popular Meerkat Family motive. The obverse of the coin depicts a meerkat family in their typical watchful stance with the desert’s horizon in the background. The reverse of the R50 gold South African coin depicts a single meetkat sentry on duty.

South african coins - 2011 natura coin, r 50 gold coin

Specifications of South African Coins - 2011 Natura Coins:

Face ValueSize MassDiameterMetal ContentReverse Die-SinkerObverse Die-SinkerReverse and Obverse ArtistMintage
100 Rand1 oz31.107 g32.69 mmAu 999.9MJ ScheepersMJ ScheepersN van Niekerk1500
50 Rand1/2 oz15.553 g27.00 mmAu 999.9C MosesMJ ScheepersN van Niekerk1500
20 Rand1/4 oz7.777 g22.00 mmAu 999.9MD MothobelaMJ ScheepersN van Niekerk3000
10 Rand1/10 oz3.110 g16.50 mmAu 999.9VL ChipaMJ ScheepersN van Niekerk3000
Natura Prestige Set1000

Source: SA Mint

South African Natura 50 Rand gold coin had a tough competition to beat in the Best Gold Coin category:

1. Austria – 50 Euro, Gold, Joanneum Museum (KM# 3202)
2. Australia – Perth Mint – 25 Dollars, Gold, Square Platypus Dreaming (KM# 1611)
3. Fiji – One Ounce Bullion, Gold, Beach Scene (KM# 215)
4. Israel – One Ounce Bullion, Gold, Lion and Western Wall (KM# 491)
5. Slovakia – 100 Euro, Prince Pribina Nitra (KM# 119)
6. South Africa – 50 Rand, Gold, Meercats (KM# 511)
7. Canada – 200 Dollars, Gold, Canada, Mountee on Horseback (KM# 1165)
8. Czech Republic – 5,000 Korun, Gold, Stribro Bridge (KM# 125)
9. Vatican City – 50 Euro, Gold, Crucifixion of Saint Peter (KM# 432)
10. France – 50 Euro, Gold, TGV Express Train (KM# 1817)


Other 2013 Coin of the Year winners are:

  1. Most Historically Significant coin – National Bank of Kyrgyzstan – 10 Som silver coin with Silk Road motive (KM# 48)
  2. Best Contemporary Event coin – Austrian Mint – 25 Euro silver and niobium bi-metallic coin with Mars Rover motive (KM# 3204)
  3. Best Silver coin – Royal Canadian Mint – 20 Dollar silver coin featuring canoe in the water (KM# 1176)
  4. Best Crown coin – France, Monnaie de Paris – 10 Euro silver coin from the series “From Clovis to Republic – 1500 Years of French History”, featuring King Charlemagne (KM# 1802)
  5. Best Trade coin – National Bank of Lithuania – 1 Litas copper-nickel coin featuring basketball (KM# 177)
  6. Most Popular coin – National Bank of Mongolia – 500 Tugrik silver coin featuring on owl with crystal eyes (KM# 309)
  7. The Most Artistic coin – National Bank of Latvia – 1 Lats silver coin shaped as a square, honoring the artist Alexandrs Caks (KM# 120)
  8. The Most Innovative coin – Netherlands, Royal Dutch Mint – 5 Euro silver coin honoring 100th anniversary of the Mint. On the reverse it features QR code that leads you to the website with additional information when scanned with a smart phone (first time engraved on a coin). (KM# 302)
  9. The Most Inspirational coin – Mint of Poland – 10 Zlotych silver coin celebrating 100th anniversary of the Society for the Protection of the Blind (Y# 796)

Overall Coin of the Year winner: Royal Dutch Mint – 5 Euro silver coin (also winner in the Most Innovative coin category)

About Krause Publications Coin of the Year Awards

Krause Publications Coin of the Year awards is the annual competition, organized by the leading publisher of coin collecting magazines, books, catalogs and other products. Since 1984 it honors the best coins released worldwide every year. Mints, collectors and experts nominate coins in 10 categories:

  1. Most Historically Significant coin
  2. Best Contemporary Event coin
  3. Best Gold coin
  4. Best Silver coin
  5. Best Crown coin
  6. Best Trade coin
  7. Most Popular coin
  8. Most Artistic coin
  9. Most Innovative coin
  10. Most Inspirational coin

The best coins in each category are selected by around 100 mint officials, coin dealers, museum officials, artists and other experts by voting. From all the category winners the best overall coin of the year is chosen.

To learn more about Krause Publications and Coin of the Year event watch the following video:


More about South African coins:

South African Coins: Natura Series

South African Coins: Protea Series

South African Coins: Mandela Coins

South African Coins: R1 Gold Coins & R2 Gold Coins


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Testing Authenticity of South African Coins: Visual Identification

Test authenticity of Krugerrands and other South African coins – Part 2

Visual identification is an easy method that will help you test authenticity of your South African coins using some simple tools. Advantages of this method are that you can use it anywhere and will not take a lot of your time.

 To visually examine South African coins you will need:

  • good jewelers lens or a loupe to examine the finest details of your South African coin
  • authentic coin of the same type or a good picture of the coin
  • for picture comparison you will need a digital camera and a photo software with photo comparison features– with this method simply take a picture of your South African coin and compare it to a picture of authentic coin of the same type using photo comparison software.

If you are not very familiar with South African coins you are testing, you need to compare them to authentic coins of the same type or a good picture of an authentic coin, using a jewelers lens or photo comparison software.

South African coins - examine

There are several features of South African coins you need to examine:

  • coin alignment: both sides of South African coin should be aligned properly
  • edge of the coin should be without irregularities such as union line, filing marks or different signs that should or shouldn’t be there, you can also count the serrations
  • surface of the coin should be without irregularities such as bubbly texture or worn parts on the plattered counterfeits, that reveal a second material on the lower layer of your South African coin
  • details: pay special attention to proper relief, date and mint mark on the South African coin, that should not be altered.

Source: A guide to identifying fake coins


More about testing authenticity of South African coins:

Testing Authenticity of South African Coins: Weight combined with diameter and thickness measurements – Part 3

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Testing Authenticity Of Gold And Silver South African Coins

Test authenticity of Krugerrands and other South African coins – Part 1

Have you ever wondered how to test authenticity of Krugerrand coins and other bullion South African coins? Due to the recent affair regarding Krugerrand coins and different counterfeits appearing on the market, collectors may have become more cautious when buying bullion South African coins.

If you want to arm yourself with skills and tools that will help you distinguish authentic South African coins from counterfeits and give you a peace of mind when it comes to your collectible coins, than read the following series of articles in which we will present different methods of and tools  for testing authenticity of your bullion South African coins.

There are several more or less complex tools and methods that will help you test your South African coins so you can avoid buying counterfeits, underweight  or under-spec coins:

  1. Visual identification: Simple and fast method where you visually test your South African coins using a jewelers lens, loupe or photographic software and compare them to the authentic coins of the same type.
  2. Weight measurement: Weight your coin using a precision scale and compare the measurement to the corresponding weight in a numismatic catalog.
  3. Diameter and thickness: Counterfeit coins often deviate from authentic coins in thickness or diameter. Use a digital caliper to measure your coin and compare result to the measurements of an authentic coin.
  4. Coin testers such as Gold Coin Balance or Fisch sets will help you test diameter, thickness, shape and weight of your Krugerrand coins.
  5. Magnets: You can test authenticity of your bullion South African coins using rare earth magnets that do not stick to gold and silver coins.
  6. Acoustic ring: Compare the ring that your coin resonates when gently hit with another coin, to a ring of another authentic coin of the same type.
  7. Density and specific gravity test: More complex method that allows you to measure density and specific gravity of a coin and compare it to density and specific gravity of the material that it should be made of.
  8. Electronic gadgets: There are several electronic gadgets that allow to test the authenticity of gold objects using ultrasound and other methods.
  9. Acid test: Application of appropriate acid to the metal induces a chemical reaction that gives you the answer if your coin (or at least its surface) is made of proper material. This is not a preferred method of testing valuable South African coins, because it can cause serious damage or ruins your coin if not used properly.

You can combine different methods of testing your South African coins to determine their authenticity and avoid buying counterfeits. Learn about the methods and tools in greater detail in the coming series of articles.

In the following video a reputable coin dealer presents some of the methods for testing gold and gold coins.

Sources: YouTube, A guide to identifying fake coins

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South African Coins by Zeridon