Coin collecting is an interesting hobby. Furthermore, it is also an investment that will increase in value over time. Some of the most interesting coins that are cherished among collectors around the world are South African coins.
History of South African coins began in 19th century with so called Cape Guilders (also Ship Guilders). After that many different coins were used in South Africa so the variety of collectible South African coins is very big and ranges from old 19th century coinage to the modern series that are minted annually by the South African Mint.
Collectible South African coins include many rare specimens, since the series minted in South Africa are usually relatively small. Therefore some of the coins are extremely valuable, exceeding prices to as much as millions of dollars.
Often South African coins are divided to gold Krugerrands, which value is derived from the value of gold and are therefore suitable for investments in gold, and to rare gold coins such as Natura, Protea and Mandela coins, which value is derived more from their rarity than the value of gold. Both kinds have some tax exemptions and both are interesting for collectors and investors. South African coins are very liquid and can be bought or sold online, trough auctions and dealers. Here is a list of the most popular South African coins:
Krugerrands: These world famous 22 karat gold coins are the most successful South African coins. They were introduced in 1967 as attempt to make South African gold more popular. They serve as a rand-dollar hedge and can be exchanged for money at any time. Krugerrand value is determined according to the value of gold with a low premium over its intrinsic value. They are available in four sizes: original 1 oz, fractional 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz sizes and in sets. On obverse (front) they portray the first president of South African Republic- Paul Kruger and the reverse depicts a springbok, the gazelle found in South Africa.
Protea Series was launched in 1986, at first as 22 carat gold coins, but since 1998 the series has been minted in 24 carat gold. The Protea coins are produced in limited mintages every year. On obverse they portray a South African national flower King Protea and the reverse depicts various social motives, depending on the annual themes. Protea coins are available as 1 oz and 1/10 oz pure gold coins, R1 sterling silver (1 oz) coin and in three coin sets.
Natura Series was launched in 1994 as South African first fine gold coin series. These 24 carat gold coins come in four different sizes: 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz and in sets. They portray different motives inspired by the South African wild life, that change every year.
R1 and R2 Gold Coin Series: First R1 and R2 coins were issued when South Africa became a Republic in 1961 and can be seen as South African first gold bullion coins. They were minted until 1983 and than reappeared in 1997 as 24 carat commemorative coin series. The R1 comes as a 1/10 oz gold coin and depicts cultures of South Africa. The R2 comes as a 1/4 oz gold coin and depicts various themes. Their motives change every year.
Mandela Coins were first issued 1994 as a tribute to admired South African president Nelson Mandela who was elected in that year. They are popular among collectors because of their rarity and due to Mandela’s global popularity. They portray Nelson Mandela and have been issued as gold commemorative coins, as well as silver, bronze coins, some also used for legal tender (ex. Madiba R5 coins). Furthermore, they are available in different sets.
R2 Crown & 2 ½ c Tickey are beautiful collectible sterling silver coins that were re-introduced in 1997 as combined commemorative coin series. They portray different themes including trains of South Africa, maritime history of South Africa, South Africa’s Birds of Prey and more.
Silver Coin series portrays South African natural environment with motives such as Peace parks of Southern Africa, marine protected areas and more. These beautiful sterling silver coins are available in different sizes as 2 oz, 1 oz, ½ oz and ¼ oz sterling silver coins.
The most popular South African coins and series are introduced above. Besides these South African Mint annually issues other coins that have collectible value. Collectors are also interested in earlier gold pound and rand coins, tokens, medallions and bank notes, that are available on the market.
Also check out the table of bullion South African coins.