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Ni28

Tickey stays, Trojan is new gold coin

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Ni28

Thank you to those who contributed to the previous posts. I might have overstayed my welcome on this forum a bit with the controversial topics, so here is something more neutral and fascinating as a final post. Tongue in cheek, this final write-up may in fact be the missing numismatic link between the Mandela R5 coins, the ZAR coins, the Union series, the 2nd Decimal series and the Krugerrand! See if you agree.

 

The front page of the The Cape Argus newspaper of Friday 12 June 1964 carried the headline: “Life Sentences For Rivonia Men”. I first saw this front page in the book “A Newspaper History of South Africa” and now recently again in the new coin book “History of the Nickel Coins of South Africa”. Copies of the original newspaper are now probably unobtainable (and worth a small fortune), so if you are interested to see this front page, either of these two books will have to suffice.

 

What makes this particular newspaper fascinating is that the small sub-heading on the right below the main headline stated: “Tickey stays, Trojan is new gold coin”. As described in the nickel coin book, this newspaper was published the day after the Select Committee on Coins published their findings. As there was so much support for the Tickey during their interviews, they decided to retain it in the new coinage act. It was nevertheless never minted again as the public loved the new 2c coin and soon the tickeys were being accumulated by the banks. The Select Committee also made provision for a one ounce gold coin called the Trojan (later renamed the Krugerrand).

 

So to coin collectors, it should be fascinating that the same newspaper front page announced Mandela’s life sentence, make reference to the tickey (Union coins) and announced the 2nd Decimal coins as well as the Krugerrand. So you may ask what is the link with the ZAR coins? The Rivonia Trial was held in the Palace of Justice on Church Square which was adjacent to the old De Nationale Bank and State Mint of the ZAR. The newspaper shows a photograph of Church Square after the sentences were read. Unfortunately the old ZAR Mint is not visible in this newspaper photograph.

 

As a final thought, the old cars driving past the crowd in the photograph makes one realise how old even the first of the 2nd Decimal coins have now become. In fact next year, on 19 March, it will be the 50th anniversary of the Select Committee Patterns. This was the day two sets, as well as a bilingual 5c pattern, were first sent by the Mint to the Minister of Finance for his information.

 

Have a great Christmas and happy coin hunting.

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Ni28

As a post script to the comments above, the front page of the Business Times in the Sunday Times of 8 December caught my attention. It carried the heading “Mandela’s Economic Legacy”. It is a collage of photographs which included the birthday R5 coin and one of the new R50 notes. From a numismatic point of view, this front page is an interesting complement to the newspaper headlines of 12 June 1964 described above. A prediction in 1964 of this recent headline would have been ridiculed in those years.

 

A lot has happened to our country and our coins in the last 50 years. Frank Mitchell’s famous quote of “holding history in your hand” is still true and that is why the hobby has always fascinated me. Although there are mixed feelings regarding these R5 coins, they have now become an inseparable part of our numismatic heritage as it portrays this important period of our history. It surely is going to be interesting to see what happens to the prices and popularity of these coins.

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