The coins of the South African rand
are part of the physical form of South Africa
, the South African rand
. In 1961, South Africa replaced the pound
with a decimal currency: 100 cents (100c) = 1 rand (R1), 1 rand being valued at 10 shillings.
The rand was introduced in South Africa in February 1961, after the referendum of November 1960 which established autonomy from the British Empire
, but before the new status came into effect in May 1961. The coins bear the forward-facing portrait of Jan van Riebeeck
on the obverse.
The initial circulation coins of the Republic were the following:
- ½ cent
- 1 cent
- 2½ cents (replaced 3d)
- 5 cents (replaced 6d)
- 10 cents (replaced 1s)
- 20 cents (replaced 2s)
- 50 cents (replaced 5s)
The coins initially had the same size as the British coins. All except the 1/2 and 1 cent coins were in silver.
In addition, two bullion
coins with denominations of 1 R
and 2 R
were issued, replacing the gold half-pound and pound
coins introduced in 1952. Both the pound and the rand gold coins matched the specifications of the British half-sovereign
(minted, among others, at the Pretoria branch mint
until 1932), including the gold alloy (crown gold
) with a fineness of 22 carat
(91.67%). The reverse of the gold rand coins features the well-known springbok
illustration designed by Coert Steynberg
for the 5-shilling coin introduced in 1948.
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