PICS: Coining SA's heritage at South African Mint Museum
THE Coin World Museum situated at the South African Mint premises in Centurion along the Old Joburg Road answers every question one could have about coins.
From history to production, it offers visitors a unique opportunity to become familiar with the history of the circulation of coins from the earliest times up to the present day.
The museum, which underwent a four-month extensive renovation which saw it becoming more modern and appealing, recently opened its doors again to the public.
The media were invited on a tour and representatives learnt about the mint’s coin collection that reflect the country’s numismatic history as well as the interesting pieces of equipment used to manufacture coins and dies.
SA Mint managing director Tumi Tsehlo said the exhibits could not be seen anywhere in the country but at the museum.
One of the significant coins displayed is the commemorative coin celebrating the birth centenary of Oliver Tambo.
Tsehlo said special moments in history were often marked with commemorative coins.
Tambo’s centenary was celebrated by producing last year a R5 circulation coin and a series of collectible coins under the theme “Freedom, Democracy and Culture”.
“The elements of the symbol feature prominently in this R5 circulation coin, resoundly acknowledging his contribution to the Struggle for equality and inclusiveness,” he said.
Within a stone’s throw away were the colours coin range designed to celebrate the rich diversity and astounding beauty of the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve.
The coin has diverse ecosystems and habitats, which include marine life, and a beach, while the frontal shows dune environments, pans, wetlands and rocky outcrops. The range is made up of four coins; two R10 sterling silver coins depicting the fauna and two R5 sterling silver 1 oz coins depicting the flora of the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve.
But what’s a coin museum without the legendary trusted Krugerrand.
Tsehlo said the coin was also celebrated for its enduring value last year where it was for the first time ever produced in different metals.
“The first ever platinum Krugerrands were produced at the mint.”
A hand-finished luxurious and unique silk scarf with elements of traditional wax cloth, cowrie shells and bead work is also found in the museum. This pays homage to the Krugerrand coin.
Every year the South African Mint produces up to 2 billion circulation coins, and 5million proof coins.
As a leading mint in the world, Tsehlo said they make currency for countries all over the world - Israel, Thailand, Morocco, China, Canada, Paraguay, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia, among others.
He said the 10 cent coins were in demand.
“We can produce about 2 billion coins in a year. The largest number of coins that we produce are the 10 cent, followed by 20 cent; R1 and R2 are lower and R5 is the lowest one.”
To learn more about coins, visitors can visit the museum every day including on weekends. Entry is free.