1. The coins of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR ~ 1874 – 1902)


These are the coins that S A COIN specialises in. They are some of the fastest financially appreciating coins in the world. If you are looking for world class investment performance then you have found the right place. South African rare coins have a long history of providing some of the highest financial returns in South Africa. A 1902 Veldpond with a mintage of 986 pieces was worth £1 in 1902. One year later in 1903, it was worth £11. This showed an enormous increase of 1 000% in one year! To read more about the Veldpond, click here. They are getting even more attention now, by providing some of the largest financial returns of any global investment sector.


Our country’s rarest coin, the 'Single 9' with a mintage of 1, has achieved the almost unimaginable and converted its value from R1 500 000 (US $326,087) in 1996 to US $3,000,000 (R18 000 000) today. This is a staggering percentage growth of 820%. It also makes this coin the most valuable private rarity in the country, far exceeding the value of our most expensive paintings. Today we live in the increasingly shrinking world of globalization. International investors and collectors are having a significant impact on our market. There are two major benefits from this. Firstly, the overall value of our coins is increasing and secondly, our coins are making waves overseas as a hot investment. This is contributing to the expansion of our market.


This 1874 Burgers Pound is the first official South African coinage ever produced. This 1892 Pound is South Africa's first official commercially circulated coinage. This 1902 Veldpond was the last coin produced in the ZAR.


The President of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek, Paul Kruger was the creator of South Africa's first indigenous commercial coinage. Paul Kruger was a man who was larger than life and a lion amongst men.


Why have South Africa’s rare coins risen so suddenly and dramatically in value? The answer can be summed up in the single word of ‘Apartheid’. During the years prior to becoming a democratic country in 1994, South Africa was seen as the pariah of the world. In short, we were shunned. Many of our markets were ignored by the international community. In fact, even South Africans ignored our domestic assets and focused their interests overseas.


Our numismatic (coin) market was about to be discovered, like Cape Town, one of the best kept real estate secret for the last 50 years. Since 1994, properties in Cape Town have increased in value. In many cases, the increase has been over seven-fold. Cape Town is now listed as one of the ten most beautiful places in the word. Prior to South Africa’s independence, Cape Town was mainly visited by South Africans. Today, Cape Town is regarded as the playground for the world’s rich and famous.


The movement into the South African rare coin market by overseas and local investors is proving that South African assets such as property, coins and art works are competitive in the world market. Our national mint, The South African Mint Company PTY(Ltd), has also seen a dramatic rise in international interest. Their list of international clients and buyers has increased significantly.


Since the release of Nelson Mandela and the fall of Apartheid, there has been renewed global interest in all things South African. South African property, rare coins, and art works have all been undervalued after decades of world isolation. It will take many years for them to attain realistic international values.


Investors and collectors have discovered that the ZAR coins are extremely rare in comparison to their international counterparts. They are also finding that they are undervalued, after years of isolation. Our coins have the potential of decades of high growth ahead of them. This will enable them to catch up to international values.


Another reason why the ZAR coins are so sought after is that they are rarer than almost any other countries’ coins. This is due to the fact that they were really a token coinage. The ZAR (Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek) was a small new country, struggling against British domination. Although the coins were produced as a commercial coinage, fewer coins were produced than the amount needed to facilitate commercial activities. Although coins were produced by the ZAR, the vast majority of commercial activities were done with British coins. This new country had a multitude of problems to deal with. The production of coinage, contrary to what people may think, is not an easy matter. The country was so new, that it did not even have a mint or bank. The government was also young and inexperienced.


President Paul Kruger of the ZAR was trying to establish a domestic currency for the new young nation, which was established in 1852. He quickly became an international icon.


Southern Africa 1899-1902


Unlike the early USA which consisted of 13 original states, South Africa was not unified and consisted of many territories. Most of these territories were under British leadership. President Paul Kruger wanted to introduce coins into the Transvaal, which was one of these territories. As the country was not unified, the coin numbers produced were equivalent of that of the United States’ minted coins for just a single state. This makes the ratio of our rare coins, when calculated relatively to our population, much smaller than countries like the United States and Australia, which were unified at the time of their first national minting of coins.


Due to the inexperience of the ZAR and the leaders of this new country, things were often in disarray. The extremely hostile imperial intentions of the British Empire placed this new state under enormous pressure, which led to the creation of some of the world’s most novel numismatic pieces. One may find that many of the coins produced in advanced and established countries tend to be boring and without interesting accounts of their production.


The ZAR coins’ story is filled with excitement, drama, intrigue, tension, mystery and twists at every turn. Most of the coins have, as a result, incredibly colourful stories to tell about their minting. This adds to their fascinating appeal to investors and collectors alike.


This is a standard 1892 set. This set has always been the foundation of any ZAR collection. The finest known of these sets have always and should continue to be amongst the best performers in the South African rare coin market.