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Friends of the WCNS
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Join the Society today

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The WCNS is actively promoting the preservation of our heritage. Our national repositories are the custodians of historically important and irreplaceable items. We are aware of numismatic items that have gone missing from these repositories and urge anyone with information to get in touch via our Contact Us channel 

Rare ZAR error coin
ZAR Pond Brockage

Shown above is a rare full brockage mint error of a ZAR Gold Pond coin. It is thought to be one of the later issues after the mint re-opened in 1899. Notice that the two images are mirrored on the obverse and reverse of the coin as a result of the coin getting stuck in the die collar during minting. An in-depth analysis of Brockage can found here. Collecting mint errors is a popular theme amongst collectors.

New Discovery - 1896 Gold Tickey

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A gold Kruger Tickey (3d), was recently discovered and certified by the Numismatic Guaranty Company, confirming its authenticity. It is dated 1896 and begs for further investigation as practically nothing is known about this type.

Comments are invited.

 WCNS Members achievements
  • Adrian Jordi - PMG Registry featured set - link

  • Waldo Human - NGC, Best Custom Set - link

Feature Article
Models of South African Coins

School (or fibre) money was “minted” from various types of sturdy cardboard as a teaching aid to schools. Money was so scarce during the Depression years that it was necessary to make this school money available since many pupils simply did not know what money looked like. The article explores South African fibre coin teaching aids, and we discover the probable year when they were first issued (the dates on the coins do not match the research). Follow the link to see what's inside the box...

The Source of the Silver used for the Z.A.R. Coinage

First pure silver bar produced in South Africa

It is fairly widely known that the gold used to strike South Africa’s first gold coin, the so-called Burgerspond (1874) was sourced from alluvial gold mined at Pilgrim’s Rest in the Eastern Transvaal. A topic that's seldom 

discussed in numismatic literature is the source for the silver coinage of the ZAR that was struck from 1892 to 1897. The photo here shows a silver bar with the inscription First Pure Silver produced on African Continent, Pretoria, dated 28 February 1893 and presumably from the Albert Silver Mine. This claim seems unlikely to us. Follow the link for more...

Mandela and QE 2

To commemorate the queen’s visit to South Africa in 1995, the SA Mint struck a special set of coins. It is one of the rarest and most unusual coin sets ever issued in South Africa, comprising seven coins/medallions, four of which were original coins minted about forty years previously for the Union of South Africa, two identical-looking large medallions in Silver and Cupro nickel, and one of the rarest gold sovereigns ever minted in South Africa. The obverse of the medallions are

identical in size and design to the one used for the 5 shilling coins from 1953 to 1959. Is it possible that the same dies were used? Link here

Perrin's sketch of the proposed mint

The riddle as to whether Thomas Burgers, president of the ZAR from 1872 - 1877, contemplated the establishment of the first South African mint in 1874 remains unsolved, notwithstanding searches in America, England, Holland, Germany and South Africa. In this excellent extract from The South African Mints which we believe has not been published before, Prof Arndt writes that he had the most vivid recollection of coming across a statement during research in New York in 1922, to the effect that President Burgers went to the extent of ordering mint machinery. We have also attached two further appendices by Prof Arndt. Read here

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During the 1970s and 1980s, it was very popular worldwide for private companies to strike collectable thematic medallion sets, usually in silver, and present them in beautifully crafted wooden cabinets or display albums. South Africa was no exception.

In this article, we discuss some of these sets. Readers are encouraged to visit Professor Michael Laidlaw’s South African Commemorative Medals website from which much of the information in this article was sourced. Link to article.

Western Cape Numismatic Society Announcements

2024 Coin Fairs

The dates for this year's SAAND coin and banknote fairs have been announced:

  • Durban - 14 July 2024, Venue to be advised

  • Cape Town - 03 November 2024, Venue: Century City Conference Centre

A thank you to Dr Morgan Carroll, well-known numismatist and author, for sponsoring our weekend competitions. Dr Carroll donated some of his authorative books as prizes.

Fun Fact

Have you ever wondered which African currency today has the highest exchange value against the USD? We list them from 1 - 10:

  1. Tunisian Dinar - TND 3.11

  2. Libyan Dinar - LYD 4.81

  3. Moroccan Dirham - MAD 9.90

  4. Botswana Pula - BWP 13.48

  5. Seychellois Rupee - SCR 13.82

  6. Ghanaian Cedi - GHS 14.23

  7. Eritrean Nakfa - ERN 15.00

  8. South African Rand - ZAR 18.33

  9. Zambian Kwacha - ZMW 25.39

  10. Egyptian Pound - EGP 46.82

Library

The library is free to use. Follow the library link in the menu bar above to various section indexes of titles, articles, notices etc. available in electronic format. The library is an ongoing project and is updated regularly.

Library feature:

This draft e-book was compiled by Rian Visser, a banknote enthusiast and expert, and kindly donated to the WCNS. It's an unedited raw form 186-page work in progress, with a myriad of detail.

Click here to read the book

New Book Release

The Gold Burgers Cross of 1874

South Africa's First Presidential Award

Research paper on the Burger's Cross by author Pierre H. Nortje. Published in booklet form, it delves into the archives, bringing to light new facts. The paper also highlites the endemic theft of heritage items from our National Museums and Institutions.

The Gold Burger’s Cross of 1874

 

South Africa’s First Presidential Award

Pierre H. Nortje

Featured Coin Designer

Our third featured designer of the 2023 Fourth Decimal Coin Series of South Africa is Kotie Geldenhuys, who designed the new 50c coin featuring the Knysna Turaco (Loerie). Kotie, who studied at the University of Pretoria, is a creative director/designer and illustrator. He is currently a freelance contributor to the SA Mint, producing illustrations for a number of their coin releases.

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Kotie's other coin designs include South Africa’s 11 Unesco Biosphere reserves, as well as the country's first new gold and platinum bullion range themed around the Big 5 that includes the 1 kg and 5 oz gold and silver coins.

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Specialising in cultural design and illustration, for which he has been nominated for a SAMA award, Kotie's creativity extends to storyboarding and animation sequences for television, creating advertising campaigns for world-class theatre productions, and character development for a Netflix series among other projects.

News from the Past

This article was originally published in the New York Times on 21st of January 1900. It reports on Charles Macrum (right), the US Consul in Pretoria and the original owner of the ZAR 1898/9 Single 9 Pond. Macrum travelled via Naples, Italy, and suggests

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he had a message for the US President after leaving Pretoria in 1899. Could the message have included the actual Single 9 pond?

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