Coins of the South African rand

Coins Of The South African Rand

Coins of the South African rand

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The coins of the South African rand are part of the physical form of South Africa's currency, 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 and 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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