Your old coins could be worth a fortune

If you collect coins, old bank notes and medals, it might work in your favour to have them evaluated because you could be sitting on a gold mine.

That is the opinion of Anthony Govender, an ardent coin, note and medal collector as well as the treasurer of the Natal Numismatic Society.

Govender, who began his collection at the age of 20, was speaking before the third annual Coin and Medal Fair which will take place at Suncoast Casino on Sunday.

The 42-year-old said the fair was an ideal way for people interested in rare numismatic items, including coins and war medals, to find out more about the history of money.

"I always say anybody that holds a coin, whether it's rare or not, is holding history in their hands, because you never know which prominent person could have held the same coin," he said.

Hosted by the South African Association of Numismatic Dealers in partnership with Absa Museum, the fair will give Durbanites a chance to view rare numismatic items.

He said most people weren't aware that the value of a coin was not determined by how old it was, but by how many coins were produced in a specific year.

"For example, there were only about 50 English 50c pieces minted in 1965, so they are catalogued at about R40 000 or R50 000. But in 1966, there were thousands of Afrikaans 50c coins minted, but because of the quantity, they are not that valuable," he said.

He said war medals were valued by the rank, regiment and why the medal was issued. The value of a medal could also increase if a recipient had been killed or wounded in battle.

"Some medals also have bars issued and these depict which battle was fought.

"Some bars are quite scarce," he said.

The one-day fair takes place on Sunday at Suncoast Casino from 10am until 4pm at the Delano Room on the upper level. Entrance is free.