Standard ZAR Coins

An except from THE COINAGE AND COUNTERFEITS OF THE ZUID AFRIKAANSCHE REPUBLIEK by Elias Levine.

During 1892 the ZAR mint struck only 34 906 Florins ( 2/- pieces ) and 49 462 shillings.
During 1893, 61926 Ponde were struck, some with the 1892 and some with the 1893 date.
46 000 Single shaft Crowns ( 5/- pieces ) were struck in 1893 with 1892 dies, and 32 000 of these were remelted and shillings were struck from the metal.
Other coins struck during 1893 with both 1892 and 1893 dates were 54 781 pennies.
The first half ponde that were minted in the Republic were in 1894, and these boe the 1893 and 1894 dates. The total struck was 39 187 coins. The ZAR mint continued to mint all denominations until the end of 1897 ( pennies only until 1894 ), when the mint closed for about 21 months.
When the mint re-opened in September 1899, 262 830 pennies and 137 000 ponde were struck bearing the 1898 date.
During the first 5 months of 1900, a total of 810 000 ponde were struck bearing the 1898 and 1900 dates.
No other denominations were struck during this period.
Each denomination is now discussed individually :

ONE PENNY ( 1d )  
Specifications :  Bronze, Diameter approx. 31 mm Weight 9,4484 grammes.
The currency wording is “Penny” is in English only.
The 1892 penny is extremely well struck in general, and as a result, is sometimes mistaken for the proof coin. Points of difference are discussed in ZAR proof pennies. Some of the uncirculated coins were struck in Berlin, and the balance in Pretoria during 1893.
The 1893 and particularly the 1894 pennies are also generally well struck. The 1893 1d commands high prices. It is fairly rare in uncirculated condition, but not so scarce in the lower grades as is thought to be the case. The 1894 1d is somewhat scarer than is generally thought, especially in uncirculated condition.
The 1898  is rather poorly struck.The figures of the date, more especially the last 8, tend to spread and look unattractive.It is not a pleasant coin.
These coins are generally of the original copper colour with some smudgy toning, and seldom tone to the attractive chocolate colour of the other dates. This issue was minted during 1899, and was not circulated and used as currency.
The blank 1d is one where the flat blanks have been ‘marked, viz. have been through the first minting process, giving the blank its smooth rim. These were never used as currency, and presumably the National Bank, which held the Mint franchise, gave these to certain of their customers as souvenirs.
These coins have been described as 1900 pennies, because that was the last year in which the ZAR State Mint was functional in Pretoria.

TICKEY ( 3d )
Specifications : Silver, Diameter approx. 16 mm, Weight 1,4138 grammes. Tolerance 0,003grammes.
Note that all ZAR silver was 92,5% silver and 7,5% alloy, mostly copper. The permissible silver deviation was 3 parts per 1000 for all silver coins.
These coins were minted for each of the “Standard” years, viz. 1892 – 1897.
The 1892 tickey is reasonably scarce in uncirculated condition, whilst the 1893 tickey is fairly common in comparison. This is the exception to the 1893 rule, because all other 1893 coins are scarce, and in most cases, scarcer than any of the other dates.
The 1894 tickey, by contra-distinction, is the scarcest.
The 1895 tickey has about the same availability as the 1893 coin, and by far the commonest are the 1896 and 1897 coins.

SIXPENCE ( 6D )
Specifications : Silver, Diameter approx.19 mm, Weight 2,8276 grammes. Tolerance 0,02 grammes.
These were minted for each of the six “Standard” years only, viz. 1892 – 1897.
The rarest date is the 1895 6d and it is virtually impossible to find this coin in uncirculated condition.
The 1893 is the next rarest. Thereafter the 1892, 1894 and 1896 are about the same availability, and the 1897 is the commonest of these coins.

SHILLING ( 1/- )
Specifications : Silver, Diameter approx. 24 mm, Weight 5,655 grammes. Tolerance 0,02306 grammes.
These were minted for each of the standard years only ( 1892 – 1897 ).
The currency wording “Shilling” is in English only. This is also the situation with the 2/-, 2/6 and 5/- coins.
The scarcest shilling and almost impossible to come by in uncirculated condition, is the 1893 coin. The writer’s valuation of this coin is double the value of the next rare shilling in uncirculated condition. It is quite a thrill to the ZAR collector to be able to acquire an 1893 shilling in good condition.
The other date which is extremely difficult in uncirculated condition is the 1896 1/-, and this also reflects in the catalogue value.

TWO SHILLINGS ( 2/- )
Specifications : Silver, Diameter approx. 29 mm, Weight 11,31grammes. Tolerance 0,04712 grammes.
These were minted for each of the standard years ( 1892 – 1897 ).
The rarest coin is the 1893 florin in uncirculated condition, and the writer’s valuation is more than double that of the next most valuable coin.
The 1895 florin in uncirculated condition is the next rarest coin.
High prices prevail on world markets for this coin, and local dealers have received bids from as far afield as Canada for the abovementioned  coins.

HALF CROWN ( 2/6 )
Specifications ; Silver, Diameter approx. 32 mm, Weight 14,14,138 grammes. Tolerance o,o5891 grammes.
These were minted for each of the standard years ( 1892 – 1897 ).
Some of these coins were polished, silvered or mounted.
Again the rarest and second rarest coins in uncirculated condition are the 1893 and 1895 coins, followed by the 1894, and then only the 1892.
The 1896 and 1897 halfcrowns are reasonably easily obtainable in uncirculated condition.

CROWN ( 5/- )
Specifications : Silver, Diameter approx. 39 mm. Weight approx. 28,2759 grammes. Tolerance 0,11781 grammes.
These were struck only in 1892, in both the single shaft and double shaft varieties.
These coins are clumsy, with the result that they were easily damaged.
They even seem to have been impaired in many instances at the time of minting.
When contemplating buying one of these coins, carefully examine the rim as a first priority. Rim nicks will impair the value by between 5% and 15% depending on the general condition of the coin, and the seriousness of the rim nick.
Quite a number of these coins were silvered or mounted or both. Some were also polished.

HALF POND ( 10/- )
Specifications: 22carat Gold, Diameter approx.19 mm. Weight 3,99402 grammes. Tolerance 0,00648 grammes. Deviation in fineness of pure gold allowed is 2 parts in 1000.
For comparative purposes, we state the details of the English sovereign:
viz. 22 carat gold. Weight 3,99402 grammes. Tolerance 0,00972 grammes.
Pure gold content 3,6612 grammes.
The colour of the coins varies from yellow to gold with a reddish tinge. This is due to different alloys having been used; yellow being predominantly silver; and reddish, larger proportions of copper. Both colours appear in all years.
There are two sharp spikes of hair standing fractionally away from Kruger’s head, at the lower back position, pointing downwards.This phenomenon does not appear on any other denomination.
The half ponde were struck onproportionately larger blanks than the ponde, compared with the sizes of their respective designs, so that there is invariably a flat surface on the outside of the beading of the half ponde, whilst there is generally only a sharp ridge surrounding the beading on the ponde.
The flat surrounding rim is more pronounced on the obverse of the half pond. The designs are generally perfectly centered on the genuine coins.
These were minted for the standard years ( 1892 – 1897 ).
The 1892 10/- coin is of the double shafted variety only. There was no official striking of single shaft half ponde for 1892.
The 1893 10/- coin is extremely difficult to come by in uncirculated condition or even in good EF condition.
Other years which are difficult in uncirculated condition in this series are the 1892, 1894 and 1897 coins, in that order.
The catalogue values given at the end of this book for the 10/- coins are very modest, because of the demand that is likely to develop as collectors begin to realise how scarce these coins really are.

Comments are closed.