Coins to mark icon's centenary

By staff reporter Time of article published Apr 25, 2018

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The South African Mint, a subsidiary of the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) has announced two new coins which pay tribute to one of the most outstanding figures in South African public life and one of the key political architects of present-day South Africa, Nelson Mandela.

This year marks a century since the birth of Nelson Mandela and the Mint has produced a coin range to commemorate this milestone.

The coins, a bronze alloy and sterling silver honouring the global icon of hope, will be available from today and can be purchased from the South African Mint’s retail store in Centurion, Elegance Jewellers in Melrose Arch and various pop-up stores in malls around South Africa (visit for details).

The bronze alloy coin is priced at R127 and tells its own tale, says Tumi Tsehlo, the managing director, South African Mint.

“Pricing the coin was a conscious tribute to Nelson Mandela’s legacy and our way of paying it forward. To celebrate 100 years since the birth of Mandela, and in remembrance of the 27 long and lonely years he spent in prison, the entry level bronze alloy coin is priced at R127. With every coin purchased, R27 (VAT-free) will be donated to the Nelson Mandela Foundation”.

The coins portray Madiba, as he was affectionately known, through the years.

The R50 bronze alloy depicts him as a young lawyer and the R50 sterling silver coin as he looked later in life as the country’s first democratic president.

Born on July 18, 1918, the Nobel laureate was a leading figure in South Africa’s fight against apartheid rule.

The new coins are the second installation in the “Celebrating South Africa” theme, through which the Mint celebrates milestones and symbols of South Africa’s freedom, democracy and culture.

The first coin series in this theme was the 2017 OR Tambo Centenary range. The two collectable coins are each packaged in “coin blister” envelopes which bear images of Mandela over the years. According to the South African Mint, the purpose of the series “Celebrating South Africa” is to educate and provide a historical perspective on the country’s Struggle icons, without whose efforts, bravery and self-sacrifice the fight against minority rule could not have been sustained.

The inaugural coin in the range featured Mandela’s comrade-in-Struggle OR Tambo and was launched during his birth centenary last year.

“South Africans must never forget their heroes who stood up against injustice and inequality to usher a new era of freedom and democracy. We hope their stories will continue to be told and heard every time someone holds a Madiba or Tambo commemorative coin,” said Tsehlo.

“Collectability is a function of craftsmanship, quality and theme among other personal preferences. The Mandela series no doubt ticks all the boxes and will be an amazing addition to any collection, not only because of its design, but also because of the enduring value of the theme.

“We will soon be announcing new products in the Mandela Centenary range that will far exceed the expectations of both numismatics and aficionados and add value to their collections.”

Nicolle Kairuz

SA Reserve Bank

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