Collecting South African ZAR Coins

Many people who are interested in collecting South African coins just don’t know where to start, and this delays them considerably. Even when they do make a start, they are full of hesitation and don’t know whether they are pursuing the correct course.

This section is designed to guide those people who have a predisposition towards collecting the ZAR coins (Also called Kruger coins), and it will be of some encouragement to work from an organised plan instead of just a hit-in-the-dark basis. The first step is to acquaint yourself with what the ZAR coins consists of. To this purpose we have included a comprehensive list of the mintage of the complete series. Once you have decided to collect the ZAR coins, depending on what plan suits your pocket, you fill the range as quickly as possible with whatever coins you are able to purchase, or if your pocket permits, you purchase the more expensive coins, restricting yourself to predetermined minimum standards or grades. Our advice is that from the outset you should try to purchase the highest grade of coins of each category that you are able to obtain. We recommend that you do not rush into purchase of these coins, and in so doing overpay, but work according to an organised plan, picking up coins from various sources.

South African ZAR Coins

Improve your coin collection as you go along by replacing poorer grades with better ones as circumstances permit. It is quite amazing how fascinating coin collecting becomes, how the character of an 1894 tickey differs completely from the 1897 tickey, or an 1893 shilling from an 1892 one.

In deciding to collect the ZAR coins, it is advisable to decide on your objectives at an early stage. Consider whether you intend to collect purely as a hobby, or whether you are looking for capital appreciation on your investment. If you have the latter in mind, it would be advisable to acquire as much of the best material as you are able to afford. In the our view, the following categories should enjoy the greatest appreciation in value over the next few years. (Given in order of highest potential.)

Only 4327 Minted in Berlin with the incorrect double shaft on the wagon instead of the single shaft “disselboom” commonly found on Boer wagons. The coins were recalled as soon as this very obvious mistake (to the Boers) was discovered, making them extra-RARE. There is, in addition, a lesser known mistake found on these coins – the front and back wheels of the wagon are the same size which was also rectified in the second variety, the rear becoming larger.

Although they are usually found in better condition than the single shaft variety, their popularity and obvious attraction to collector/ investors ensures they are seldom offered on the open market in this choice condition.

  • The rarities, in good condition, not necessarily in uncirculated condition, but certainly not badly impaired coins or ex-mount or gilt coins. Rarities include Burgers Ponde, Veld Ponde and other rarities which are catalogued in. excess of R50 000,00 per coin.

    The ZAR Proof Coins. As the degree of sophistication of collectors increases so the demand for these superb coins also increases, and the prices accordingly. Even moderate collectors should try to acquire at least one of these pieces as the showpiece of their collection.

  • The ZAR Half Pond coins are next on the list, as the total mintage, less coins remelted, was only 362 890 spread over the 6-year period. This is a small mintage as compared with the corresponding figure for ZAR ponde (1 547 207), and indeed a tiny figure by world standards. Even the South African mint produced 1 755 155 10/- gold coins in 1925 and 1926 alone. The catalogue values given for these coins are for these reasons probably very conservative, and a relatively high rate of appreciation can be expected, more especially for the coins in better condition (EF and upwards) and the scarcer dates.
  • The ZAR Pond are next on the list in so far as potential increase in value is concerned. Again, the total net mintage of these coins was 1 547 207 from 1892 to 1900. Compare this with the total mintage of South African sovereigns alone, from 1925 to 1932 (83438971) coins. Again the better grades will appreciate more rapidly in value than the lower grades.
  • The next category as regards potential appreciation in value is the Crown. ZAR Crowns in good condition, without rim nicks or other damage, are extremely difficult to come by. Again having regard for the total net mintage figures, 4327 Double shafts and 14 000 Single shafts, and for the fact that probably only 25% or less of these coins do not have rim nicks or other impairments, the total numbers available make this a very scarce coin indeed. (5 415 286 South African Crowns were minted from 1947 to 1964, viz. nearly 300 times as many. There were 8339 of these minted in 1959 and the next lowest annual figure is 20930 in 1954.)
  • Finally, all silver coins graded EF+ and better can be expected to show excellent capital appreciation in the next few years. Even in collecting ZAR coins, it is as well to select your theme at an early stage. You may decide on the whole range including the Burgers Ponde, the whole Kruger range, gold only, silver and copper or silver only.

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