The South African Mint is one of the world’s leading mints and over the years has earned a worldwide reputation for its appealing designs, exceptional craftsmanship and the high standard of its quality coins, winning numerous international awards in the process. The Mint is a wholly owned subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), established in accordance with the SARB Act, which authorises the SARB to ‘coin coins or cause coins to be coined’. The Mint is made up of two divisions: circulation coins (CC), Numismatics (Nums), the CC division manufactures the legal tender coins that we use in our everyday transactions, as well as coin blanks, which are sold to customers for minting. Over and above producing all South African Coinage, it also produces circulation coins for the export market, minting the coins that are used as currency in numerous countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America
The Nums division produces proof quality premium products made mainly in gold and silver specifically for the collector’s market. These include the world famous Krugerrand, as well as our Natura and Protea Series’, amongst others. Minted in limited numbers, they are true collector’s items, and are sought after around the world. The demand for the Mint’s numismatic coins has grown significantly over the past few years both locally and in the international market, due to their appealing themes, designs and quality craftsmanship.
It is said that one can tell the story of a country based on the designs depicted on its coins over the years, and this is certainly true for South Africa too. Since 1994, the focus of the Mint has been on depicting relevant and nation-building themes on our coins, aligned to our new democracy. This includes featuring our national heritage as well as honouring outstanding individuals who have made a significant contribution in our society. Some of the people that have been featured on our coins include Chief Albert Luthuli, Bishop Tutu, Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk and Mahatma Gandhi. Our Natura Series features wildlife and is very popular both locally and internationally. Some of the proceeds from these coins are ploughed back into initiatives that promote nature conversation. We believe that coins are meant to last for a very long time, and that the coins we make today will become a treasure for tomorrow – hence our brand promise of Timeless Value.
As far as the technical aspects of coin making go, the SA Mint is on the cutting edge of international developments in coin technology. As with most industries today, there has been a considerable shift towards the use of computers and digital tools in the making of coins. Even though we do use new technology at the Mint, we still also make use of tried and tested modelling and die sinking practices, which continue to deliver the results we look for. New technology cannot compete with the skill and craftsmanship that these practices demand, or the texture and depth that they produce. By this careful balance of traditional methods and technological progress, the SA Mint keeps itself at the forefront of coin design.
The coins we make at the South African Mint are amongst the most beautiful in the world and we cordially invite you to join the world of South African coin collectors, to start acquiring this ‘Timeless Value’ for yourself and thus be in a position to enjoy and later pass on the beauty, heritage and economic value of coins to future generations.
Mr. A. M. Mvinjelwa
South African Mint Company