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South African Coins: Protea Series


Protea series was introduced by the South African Mint in 1986 following the popular Krugerrand coins. These beautiful collector South African coins commemorate rich history of South Africa. They were initially issued as 22 carat gold coins, but since 1997 the gold Protea coins have been minted in 24 carat gold.

Protea coins are produced in limited mintages every year which enhances their collector value.  The target market for Protea Series (as well as for the Natura, R1 and R2 coins) are collectors and small investors. They are available as 1/10 ounce and 1 ounce pure gold coins, 1 ounce – R1 steling silver coin and in sets (Prestige Set, Proof Set). They come with Certificates of Authenticity that are due to the security measures re-designed every year and have a logo of the South African Mint printed in transparent ink visible only under the ultra-violet light. There are also special launches of the Protea coins, that are often released to commemorate special events or awards.

Specifications of Protea Coins

Face ValueR25R5R1
Size1 ounce1/10 ounce1 ounce
Metal ContentAu 999,9Au 999,9Ag 925 Cu 75
Mass [g]31,1073,11015
Diameter [mm]32,7016,5032,70

Obverse of the coins portrays the national flower of South Africa –  the King Protea (Protea Cynaroides) also called King sugar Bush. On reverse they feature different social motives, significant South African events, people and industries, that change annually. It is interesting that Protea coins do not depict name of the series in their design.

Overall theme of the Protea coins changes every three to four years, to maintain the collector’s interest. Some of the overall themes depicted on the Protea coins are:

  • Important social issues: 1996-1998
  • South African industries: 1999-2001
  • Nobel Peace Prize Winners of South Africa: 2005-2007


Themes of Protea Coins

1986Centenary of the great Gold Rush
1986Year of the Disabled
1988500th Anniversary of Bartholomew Dias' circumnavigation of the Cape of Good Hope
1988300th Anniversary of the landing of the Huguenots
1988150th Anniversary of the Great Trek
1989No coins were issued
1990No coins were issued
1991A tribute to 100 Years of Nursing in South Africa
1992100th Anniversary of Minting in South Africa
1993200th Anniversary of Banking in South Africa
1994100th Anniversary of Nature Conservation in South Africa
1994Presidential Inauguration
1995100th Anniversary of Railway Links over International Borders
1995Rugby World Cup in South Africa
1996The New Constitution
1997The South African Women
1998Year of the Child
1999The Mining Industry in South Africa
2000The Wine Industry in South Africa
2001The Tourism Industry in South Africa
2002S.A. Soccer
2002World Summit on Sustainable Development
2003Cricket World Cup
200410 Year Anniversary of Democracy
2005Albert Luthuli
2006Desmond Tutu
2007Mandela/de Klerk - 5 coins were issued
2008Mahatma Gandhi
2009National Anthem of South Africa
2010Nadine Gordimer
2011John Maxwell Coetzee

You can buy Protea coins on different websites such as eBay or BidOrBuy and from numerous coin dealers around the world.

More about South African coins:

South African Coins: Natura Coins

Mandela Coins

Krugerrand Value

Collectible South African Coins

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2 Responses to “South African Coins: Protea Series”

  1. 1
    johannes Says:

    I found 1of 2003 protea gold with nic boje no12

  2. 2
    johannes Says:

    I Found protea 2003 goldmedal with name nic boje on it
    Email me or call me if interested

South African Coins by Zeridon