South African Flag

First founded in the late 1800’s, the South African Mint is the official mint of the Republic of South Africa and has been providing the country with currency, ever since.

Here, we will discuss a brief history of the South African Mint and overview a few of the most iconic coins it produces.

Early History

The beginning of South Africa’s Mint began with the discovery of gold in 1886 near Witwatersrand. In three years’ time, South Africa became a world leader in gold production, and the country’s trade and commerce boomed. In response to the gold discovery, South Africa’s then president Paul Kruger decided to establish a national mint.

The new mint would solve several problems South Africa was facing at the time. Most importantly, the country had been facing a coin shortage for some time, and it opened the door to allow South Africa to become an independent producer of its own currency.

The Mint was opened soon after on July 6, 1892 in Pretoria.

British Occupation

At the start of the 20th century, the British occupied Pretoria, and the war caused the mint to cease in operation. As a result of the occupation, British currency was deemed to be the legal tender of the country of South Africa.

The Mint Act of 1919 served to establish a branch of the British Royal Mint in the city of Pretoria, and this mint began producing the pound in 1923. In July of 1941, however, ties between South Africa and the Royal Mint were severed, and the mint became known as the South African Mint thereafter.

An Independent Mint

While the South African Mint was no longer a part of the British Royal Mint, British currency was still widely used and accepted across the country of South Africa. That was, at least, until 1961 when South Africa became its own Republic. At this point, a new monetary system was created and introduced into the country.

The new currency featured coins that spanned from the amount of half a cent to 1 and 2 Rand. Each of these coins was designed to replace a piece of British coinage, and the 1 and 2 Rand were the first gold bullion coins to be produced in South Africa.

In the 1980’s, it was determined that the South African Mint was to come under private control and, for this reason, the South African Reserve Bank became its holding company. The coining activities were under the jurisdiction of their own subsidiary company that became known as the South African Mint Company.

The Modern SA Mint

Today, the South African Mint is located in Centurion and has been at that location since October of 1992. The Mint is the home of some of the most modern technology available in the art of coin making, and the South African Mint is considered to be one of the most advanced mints in the world.

In addition to making South Africa’s coinage, the South African Mint is also regularly commissioned to create coinage for other countries, too.

With their modern technology and dedication to high quality coinage, the South African Mint has produced some very popular coins in recent years.

Gold Krugerrand

Gold Krugerrand

South Africa’s Gold Krugerrand is one of the most popular bullion coins ever created in addition to being the South African Mint’s most popular coin. It was first released in 1967 and features a depiction of South Africa’s first president and Mint founder, Paul Kruger.

The Krugerrand was originally minted to encourage private gold ownership and has since been produced from over 46 million ounces of gold. The Krugerrand is available in 1/10, 1/4, 1/2, and 1 Troy ounce gold weights, meaning that the coin is available for a wide variety of collectors with varying budgets.

Protea Series

The Protea series began in 2013 as a tribute to the life of Nelson Mandela. Each year, a new coin is released in the series to commemorate a different time in Mandela’s life in South Africa.

The R1

While the R1 is a tried and true piece of South African currency, the Mint began releasing commemorative R1’s beginning in 1997. The coin’s theme is currently “South African Reptiles” and features a cape dwarf chameleon, this year. The R1 contains 1/10 oz. of .9999 fine gold.

Big Cats Series

Beginning this year, the South African Mint released a series of 4, 24-carat gold coins (1/10, 1/4, 1/2, and 1 troy oz), as well as a sterling-silver crown coin. These coins commemorate Africa’s big cats in conjunction with the National Geographic Series.

Own a Piece of South African History

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