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The Top 5 South African Coins to Invest In

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Investing in rare gold coins is an undeniably wise decision and your ROI can be considerable if you know what to look for. The truth is though that unless you have access to reliable resources or the time and means to research which coins would be best suited to your collection, you might find yourself at a loss and not sure where to start.

To help guide you in the right direction, we’ve looked at the top 5 South African coins to invest in, edited


1. 1902 Veldpond



This uniquely beautiful coin came into existence after 1901, during the final phase of the Anglo Boer War when money was fast becoming scarce. At that time, the Commandos food was bought from the Black Tribes, who would only accept gold coins as payment. This of course made any exchange difficult because there was simply no money around.

A school principal by the name of P.J. Kloppers suggested that the Boers help ease the situation by manufacturing their own coins. Basic machinery, though not entirely sufficient, was bought from nearby mines and it took 6 attempts before a die was finally manufactured that didn’t crack when it was cooled. It was a frustrating process made worse by the fact that it took many attempts to get the correct gold ratio for the gold sheets. In the end however, 986 of the 1902 Veldpond were minted with the handmade dies and put into circulation.


2. 1898 Sammy Marks Tickey



Lithuanian immigrant turned industrialist and financier, Sammy Marks gained the confidence of President Kruger and the South African government after moving to Pretoria in 1881. A defining moment that firmly established him as a man of influence came after he advised Kruger to build a railway line from Pretoria to Lourenco Marques. Kruger ran out of money and Marks subsequently funded the project through various massive loans (nearly £3 million), although when the railway line was finally completed he was mysteriously not invited to the official opening.


In 1898 Marks was offered free use of the mint for a day and he took the opportunity to strike 215 gold memento tickey’s for his family and friends. Though of course they were not circulated and could not be considered legal tender, they are still considered to be exceptionally rare coins with an interesting history.


3. 1874 Coarse Beard



Thomas Francois Burgers was the 4th President of the South African Republic from 1871 till 1877, a liberal and strongly reformist minister of the Dutch Reformed Church. A little known fact here is that the gold used to strike this incredibly rare coin was mined in the same way as the 1902 Veldpond at Pilgrim’s rest in that it also contained impurities and had to be melted down and refined. There was a massive outcry from members of the Volksraad to Burger’s vain attempt to get his portrait, together with the ZAR coat of arms, minted on the gold staatsponden, which was to have the same intrinsic value as the British sovereign. Burger expected recognition and admiration for producing the republics first indigenous coin but the move was instead viewed as foolish pride from the strongly religious community.


The 1874 Coarse Beard got its name after a small batch of coins was minted by a second die after the first one broke. This second batch, numbering just 142, shows Burger with a distinctive ‘coarse’ beard when compared to the fine beard mint.


4. 1874 Fine Beard



Although not as rare as the Coarse Beard mint, the 1874 Fine Beard mintage numbered only 695 coins and is highly valuable. When compared to the coin above, you can clearly see the difference between the beards.


5. 99 Overstamp



In 1899 Mr J Perrin, a member of the South African government, instructed the Mint Master to over-stamp 130 1898 Kruger Pound coins in celebration of the reopening of the Pretoria Mint. When the first coin was struck (and subsequently became known at the world-renowned ‘Single 9’) it was immediately noticed that the “9” on the punch was too large and a smaller punch was used to over-stamp the remaining coins. The second striking of these coins became known as the Double 99 Overstamp and is a great example of one of the rare South African gold coins that can be purchased through South Cape Coins.



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Cool! Thanks for sharing about some historical coins. I care more about the history than the intrinsic and collectible values and these certainly are historical!

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