A wholly owned subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank, The South African Mint Company (SA Mint), has a proud tradition of coin production dating back more than 120 years. While SA Mint is responsible for producing the country’s circulation and legal tender coins, it also has an important legacy role, creating timeless value through the craftsmanship of collectible gold coins that have become highly sought after commemorative pieces and sound investments, worldwide.
South Africa’s coin minting history coincides with the discovery of gold on the Reef in 1886, when an explosion of trade and commerce sparked a need for the Republic of South Africa to produce and manage its own coinage.
Under the auspices of President Paul Kruger, the Volksraad granted a concession to a consortium of Dutch, German and British investors that went on to establish the National Bank of the ZAR (Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek) with permission to operate the country’s first mint.
These early coins were based on British sizes and denominations and the first pounds and half pounds were struck by the Berlin Imperial Mint in 1892, in time for the Presidential Election. The original corner stone of the Mint can still be seen on the northwest corner of Church Square in Pretoria.
Best known for the Krugerrand that is undoubtedly the most widely accepted and recognise gold coin in the world, it was first minted in 1967 to allow the general public to share in South Africa’s mineral wealth and legally be able to own gold apart from jewellery. This legal tender 22 carat gold coin contains exactly one troy ounce and its value is linked to the daily spot price of gold.
Since then, SA Mint has produced commemorative coins that have mapped numerous significant milestones in our history, from the Rugby World Cup, Life of Nelson Mandela, 20 Years of Democracy, Our architectural heritage, locomotive history and our prized wildlife.
Current collections include the Krugerrand Series, Crown and Tickey Series, Protea Series, Mandela Series and the Natura Series which has just launched its latest collection ‘Nocturnal Hunters’ featuring the Leopard.
All collections are produced in a variety of denominations from 1oz, half ounce, quarter ounce, tenth ounce and more recently sterling silver, making South Africa’s coins accessible to a wide variety of collectors and Numismatic enthusiasts.
SA Mint is guided by five values that each represents the spirit of the organisation and its role in capturing our historic legacy: