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GROOVIE MOVIES

Circulation of precious metals as money in South Africa

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GROOVIE MOVIES

Good day, 

I was wondering when gold and to a lesser extent silver departed from circulation as money in South Africa?

It has often been suggested that the silver rand series between 1965 and 1976 never really circulated and was mostly held as savings in the form of bullion. This topic caught my attention again when somebody mentioned they hadn't often seen silver rands in heavily circulated condition, and I suppose the same could be said about Crowns as well.

I'm not well read on the subject so I thought I'd look at the mintages as an indicator on how coins circulated, as logic dictates higher mintages would mean wider spread circulation and low mintages the opposite. I didn't take proofs into consideration as this would have most certainly been for the collector markets, so all the numbers below are that of business strikes. 

If you look at the low mintages of the first decimal series (particularly 2.5cents and 50cents), it is evident that the intention to remove silver from coinage might already been in place in the late 1950's as was the trend globally after many countries withdrew from the gold standard. The rand as a currency had been introduced in 1961 pegged two to one to the pound, yet as soon as its introduction it was already set for depreciation with the nickel second decimal series on the horizon. The nickel series saw a sharp increase in minting, as was seen with the introduction of the debased 50% silver coinage of the 1950's leading undoubtedly to inflation. I think this might have been the intention of the South African government at the time, in that a weaker currency would be more competitive internationally as well as meet State spending by means of inflation. 

The gold rands and two rands when first released were inline with the SA pounds in the early 1950's at about 4000 on average annually before spiking to an average of 10 000 with the introduction of nickel coinage in 65 to 66. We see another spike in their average mintages again in mid to late 70's to that of around 20 000 annually. I don't know if it's accurate to say, but it looks like each time silver was removed from our coinage, first in 65, then again in 77, the mintage of gold rands increased.

Now I can safely assume that this must have been gold coinage earmarked for savings in the form of bullion, as these numbers are far too low for general business circulation, and one need only look at the gold sovereign mintages of the 1920's to 30's which numbered in the tens of millions to see what I mean. So what this tells me is gold coins were not used for general circulation in the 1960's nor in the 50's, which saw annual mintages of around 500. Another indicator of this is 10 shillings (two crowns) were equivalent to half gold pound (same size 22 carat gold coin as the rand) and 1965 saw the introduction of the silver rands (slightly larger than a half crown) which had the same face value as the gold rand, hence silver and gold rands could not have circulated together at face value as these coins where not inline with the silver to gold price ratio at the time. I hope my logic is holding water thus far...

Thus I conclude gold rands of the 60's and 70's must have traded above face value. Can this be confirmed by anybody of knowledge on the topic? Around what period did gold leave general circulation and paper take its place? With the mintages of the 50's it is safe to assume it must have been prior.

Any thoughts?

regards Robert

 

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jwither

I was young at the time (1972-1974) but never saw any gold in circulation when I lived in South Africa and don't recall ever seeing a silver Rand either.  

Take a look at this link.  The exchange rate for the ZAR to the USD was $1.40 and .50 to the GBP, which is consistent with my recollection of GBP = $2.80.

The gold content in these coins is about 1/8 and 1/4 of an ounce, slightly less but not much.  At the "official" gold price of about $35 to $42.22 USD from the 1930's to the 1960's (based upon Bretton Woods from 1944 onward), the melt value would have been about R3 and R6 or three times the face value of these coins.  The SA Mint wouldn't have sold coins worth this much for face value and no one would spend it either.

http://fxtop.com/en/currency-converter-past.php?A=100&C1=ZAR&C2=USD&DD=01&MM=01&YYYY=1953&B=1&P=&I=1&btnOK=Go!

As for silver, I presume that the silver Rand were also struck for collectors and bullion buyers.  I haven't done the math but anyone can do so since historical silver spot prices are easy to find.  What I can tell you is that by 1972 when I moved to South Africa, no other country was striking silver coinage for commercial purposes.  Switzerland discontinued it in 1967, the US in 1964 (except half dollars at 40% until 1970) and I believe the rest of Europe did so prior to 1950.

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Pierre_Henri
2 hours ago, jwither said:

As for silver, I presume that the silver Rand were also struck for collectors and bullion buyers.  I haven't done the math but anyone can do so since historical silver spot prices are easy to find.  What I can tell you is that by 1972 when I moved to South Africa, no other country was striking silver coinage for commercial purposes.  Switzerland discontinued it in 1967, the US in 1964 (except half dollars at 40% until 1970) and I believe the rest of Europe did so prior to 1950.

Not correct - West Germany issued silver 5 mark coins for circulating purposes (.625 fine) up to 1974. Austria circulating Schilling denominations ended the year before in 1973.

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Pierre_Henri

This is from my own private records  

Country

Denomination

Date

Silver pureness

Angola

10 Escudos

20 Escudos

 

1952 + 1955

 

.720

Australia

3d

 

6d

 

1/-

 

2/-

 

 5/-

50c

1910 - 1944

1947 – 1964

1910 – 1945

1946 – 1963

1910 – 1944

1946 – 1963

1910 – 1945

1946 – 1963

1937 & 1938

1966

.925

.500

.925

.500

.925

.500

.925

.500

.925

.800

Austria

1 Corona

 2 Corona

5 Corona

Half Schilling

Schilling

 

2 Schilling

5 Schilling

 

10 Schilling

25 Schilling

50 Schilling

 

100 Schilling

 

1892 - 1916

1912 -1913

1900 – 1909

1925 – 1926

1924

1925 –1932

1928 – 1937

1934 – 1936

1960 – 1968

1957 – 1973

1955 – 1973

1959 – 1973

1974 – 1978

1975 – 1979

1991 onwards

.835

.835

.900

.640

.800

.640

.640

.835

.640

.640

.800

.900

.640

.640

.900

Belgium

½ Franc (50c)

1 and 2 Franc

5 Francs

20 Francs

20 Francs

50 Francs

50 Francs

100 Francs

 

1863 – 1914

1832 – 1868

1933 – 1935

1949 – 1955

1935

1939 – 1960

1948 - 1951

 

.835

.900

.680

.835

.680

.835

.835

Brazil

1000 Reis

2000 Reis

1906 – 1913

1906 – 1913

1924 – 1935

.900

.900

.500

British West Africa

3d & 6d

 

1/-

 

2/-

1913 – 1919

1920

1913 – 1920 (1920 also nickel-brass)

1913 – 1920 (1920 also nickel-brass)

1920H

.925

.500

 

.925

 

.925

.500

 

Canada

5c

 

10c, 25c, 50c

 

Dollar

1858 – 1919

1920 & 1921

1858 – 1919

1920 – 1966

1936 – 1966

.925

.800

.925

.800

.800

 

Ceylon

10c, 25c, 50c

1892 – 1917

1919 – 1929

1941 (10c)

1942 (50c)

.800

.550

.800

.800

Cyprus

3, 4 ½, 9, 18 and 45 Piastres

1901 - 1940

 

 

.925

Denmark

1 & 2 Kroner

2 Kroner

1875 – 1916

1923, -30, -37, 45

.800

.800

East  Africa (British)

25c, 50c, Shilling and Florin

1906 – 1919

1920

.800

.500

Egypt

1, 2, 5, 10, 20 Qirish,

 

2,5,10 and 20 Piastres (British Occupation)

 

2,5,10 and 20 Piastres (Kings Head)

1909 - 1914

 

 

 

 

1916 – 1920

 

 

1923 - 1942

.833

 

 

 

 

.833

 

 

.833

Ethiopia

Gersh (3p size)

1/8 Birr

¼ Birr

½ Birr

Birr (Crown size)

1880s/90s

1880s/90s

1880s/90s

1880s/90s

1880s/90s/1900s

.835

.835

.835

.835

.835

Fiji

6d, 1/- and 2/-

 

2/-

1934 -1941

1942 – 1943

1945

.500

.900

.500

 

 

 

Country

Denomination

Date

Silver pureness

France

20c

50c

1 Franc & 2 Franc

5 Franc

 

10 Franc

 

20 Franc

50 Franc

1864 – 1889

1864 – 1920

1866 – 1920

1861 – 1878

1960 – 1969

1929 – 1939

1965 – 1973

1929 – 1939

1974 – 1980

.835

.835

.835

.900

.835

.680

.900

.680

.900

Germany

½ Mark

1 Mark

 

2 Mark

 

 

3  Mark

 

5 Mark

 

 

 

1905 – 1919

1873 – 1916

1924 – 1927

1876 - 1913

1925 - 1931

1933 - 1939

1908 - 1915

1924 - 1932

1874 – 1914

1925 - 1932

1933 - 1939

1951- 1974

.900

.900

.500

.900

.500

.625

.900

.500

.900

.500

.900

.625

German East Africa

1/4 Rupee to 2 Rupee

 

1890 - 1914

 

.917

Great Britain

3d, 6d, 1/-, 2/-, 5/-

1817 -1919 (some 1920)

1920 - 1946

.925

.500

Greece

1 & 2 Drachmai

20 Drachmai

 

30 Drachmai

50 Drachmai

100 Drachmai

1910/11

1930

1960

1963/4

1967

1967

.835

.500

.835

.835

.835

.835

 

Hong Kong

5c

10c

20c

50c / Half Dollar

One Dollar

1866 – 1933

1863 - 1905

1866 - 1905

1866 – 1905

1866 - 1868

.800

.800

.800

.800

.900

 

Hungary

1 Korona

2 Korona

5 Korona

1, 2 & 5 Pengo

1892 – 1916

1912 - 1914

1900 – 1907

1926 - 1939

.835

.835

.900

.640

 

India (British colonial)

2 Annas

¼ Rupee

 

½ Rupee

 

1 Rupee

 

1862 – 1917

1862 – 1939

1940 – 1945

1862 – 1939

1940 – 1945

1862 – 1939

1940 - 1945

.917

.917

.500

.917

.500

.917

.500

 

 

Ireland

Shilling, Florin and Half Crown

 

1928 - 1943

 

.750

Italy

20 Centesimi

50 Centesimi

 

1 & 2 Lira

5 Lira

 

10 Lire

20 Lira

500 Lire

1000 Lire

1863 - 1867

1861 - 1862

1863 - 1892

1863 – 1917

1861 - 1914

1926 – 1941

1926 - 1941

1927 – 1941

1958 – 1982

1970

.835

.900

.835

.835

.900

.835

.835

.800

.835

.835

Lesotho

5 to 50 Licente

1966

.900

Malaysia

(Straits Settlements)

5c, 10c & 20c

 

 

 

50c

 

 

Dollar

1871 – 1903

1909 – 1917

1918 – 1920

1926 – 1935

1886 – 1905

1907 – 1908

1920 – 1921

1903 – 1909

1919 - 1926

.800

.600

.400

.600

.800

.900

.500

.900

.500

Malaya

5c, 10c & 20c

1939 – 1941

1943 - 1945

.750

.500

Mauritius

10c & 20c

¼ & ½ Rupee

 

1877 – 1899

1934 – 1938

1946

.800

.916

.500

 

Mexico

10 Centavos

 

 

20 Centavos

 

 

25 Centavos

50 Centavos

 

 

Peso

1868 - 1905

1905 – 1919

1925 – 1935 (small coin)

1898 - 1905

1905 – 1919

1920 - 1943

1874 - 1890

1875 - 1895

1905 – 1919

1919 – 1945 (not 1935)

1872 - 1905

1910 – 1914

1918 – 1919

1920 – 1945

1947/48

.917

.800

.720

.903

.800

.720

.903

.903

.800

.720

.903

.903

.800

.720

.500

 

Mozambique

2 ½ Escudos

5 Escudos

 

10 Escudos

 

 

20 Escudos

 

1935 – 1951

1935 – 1949

 1960

1936 – 1938

1952 – 1960

1966

1952 – 1960

1966

.650

 

.650

.835

.720

.680

.720

.680

 

Country

Denomination

Date

Silver pureness

Netherlands

5c

10c & 25c

½ Gulden

 

Gulden

 

2½ Gulden

 

10 Gulden

1848 – 1887

1848 – 1945

1848 – 1919

1921 – 1930

1840 – 1917

1922 – 1966

1840 – 1898

1929 – 1966

1970 - 1973

.640

.640

.945

.720

.945

.720

.945

.720

.720

Netherlands Antilles

1/10 Gulden

¼ Gulden, Gulden

2½ Gulden

 

1954 – 1970

1952 – 1970

1964

 

.640

.720

.720

Newfoundland

5c

 

10c

 

20c

25c

50 c

1865 – 1943

1944 – 1947

1865 – 1944

1945 – 1947

1865 – 1912

1917 – 1919

1870 - 1919

.925

.800

.925

.800

.925

.925

.925

New Zealand

3d, 6d, 1/-, 2/-, 2.6/-,

5/-

 

1933 – 1946

1935 & 1949

 

.500

.500

Panama

1/10, ¼, ½ Balboa

1 Balboa

 

1930 – 1962

1931 – 1974

 

.900

.900

Philippines

10, 20, 50 Centavos

 

½ Peso

Peso

 

1903 – 1906

1907 – 1947

1961

1903 – 1906

1907 – 1912

1947 – 1967

 

.900

.750

.900

.900

.800

.900

Poland

1 & 2 Zloty

5 Zlotych

 

10 Zlotych

1924 – 1936

1925

1928 – 1936

1932 - 1939

.750

.900

.750

.750

         

 

 

 

Country

Denomination

Date

Silver pureness

Portugal

50 Reis

100 Reis

 

200 Reis

 

500 Reis

10 Centavos

20 Centavos

50 Centavos

1 Escudo

2½ Escudos

5 Escudos

10 Escudos

 

20 Escudos

1855 - 1893

1838 – 1898

1909 – 1910

1838 – 1903

1909

1837 – 1910

1915

1913 – 1916

1912 – 1916   

1910 -1916

1932-1951

1932-1960

1928-1948

1954-1960

1953 -1960 

.917

.917

.835

.917

.835

.917

.835

.835

.835

.835

.650

.650

.835

.680

.800

Romania

50 Bani

1 Leu

2  Lei

5 Lei

100 Lei

200 Lei

250 Lei

 

500 Lei

 

25 000 & 100 000 Lei

1873 – 1914

1870 - 1914

1872 - 1914

1880 -1906

1932

1942

1935

1939  - 1941

1941

1944

 

1946

.835

.835

.835

.900

.500

.835

.750

.835

.835

.700

 

.700

 

Russia

IMPERIAL

5 ,10, 15 & 20 Kopeks

25 Kopeks

 

50 Kopeks

Rouble

USSR

10, 15 & 20 Kopeks

50 Kopeks

Rouble

 

 

1867 – 1917

1859 – 1885

1886 – 1901

1886 - 1914

1886 - 1915

 

 

1921 -1930

1921/22

1921/22/24

 

 

.500

.868

.900

.900

.900

 

 

.500

.900

.900

Seychelles

25 cent

½ Rupee

Rupee

1939 – 1944

1939

1939

.500

.500

.500

South Africa

a)    ZAR

b)    Union

c)    Union

d)    Republic

 

 

3d to 5/-

3d to 5/-

3d to 5/-

2 ½ c to 50c

R1

 

1892 – 1897

1923 – 1950

1951 – 1960

1961 –1964

1965 –1969

 

.925

.800

.500

.500

.800

 

 

 

Country

Denomination

Date

Silver pureness

Southern Rhodesia

3d to Half Crown (2/6-)

 

Crown (Rhodesia)

 

1932 – 1942

1943 -1946

1953

 

.925

.500

.500

Spain

50 Centimos

1 Peseta

2 Pesetas

5 Pesetas

100 Pesetas

1869 – 1926

1869 – 1933

1869 - 1905

1869 – 1899

1966

.835

.835

.835

.900

.800

Sweden

25 & 50 Ore

(also nickel  50 Ore)

1 & 2 Kronor

5 Kronor

1874 – 1941

 

(1920 – 1947)

1875 – 1941

1935

.600

 

 

.800

.900

 

Switzerland

(Helvetia)

½ Franc,

1 & 2 Franc

5 Franc

5 Franc

 

1874 – 1967

1850 – 1928

1931 - 1967

 

.835

.900

.835

USA

Dime (10c), Quarter (25c), Half Dollar, Dollar

 

 

1840 - 1964

 

 

.900

 

 

 

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GROOVIE MOVIES
21 hours ago, jwither said:

I was young at the time (1972-1974) but never saw any gold in circulation when I lived in South Africa and don't recall ever seeing a silver Rand either.  

Take a look at this link.  The exchange rate for the ZAR to the USD was $1.40 and .50 to the GBP, which is consistent with my recollection of GBP = $2.80.

The gold content in these coins is about 1/8 and 1/4 of an ounce, slightly less but not much.  At the "official" gold price of about $35 to $42.22 USD from the 1930's to the 1960's (based upon Bretton Woods from 1944 onward), the melt value would have been about R3 and R6 or three times the face value of these coins.  The SA Mint wouldn't have sold coins worth this much for face value and no one would spend it either.

http://fxtop.com/en/currency-converter-past.php?A=100&C1=ZAR&C2=USD&DD=01&MM=01&YYYY=1953&B=1&P=&I=1&btnOK=Go!

As for silver, I presume that the silver Rand were also struck for collectors and bullion buyers.  I haven't done the math but anyone can do so since historical silver spot prices are easy to find.  What I can tell you is that by 1972 when I moved to South Africa, no other country was striking silver coinage for commercial purposes.  Switzerland discontinued it in 1967, the US in 1964 (except half dollars at 40% until 1970) and I believe the rest of Europe did so prior to 1950.

It's then apparent that the gold cions struck in the early 60's were for the collector market, if their gold content was three times their face value. It's also interesting to see the annual mintages of gold SA pounds at around 500, and how the number jumped up to 4000 with the introduction of the rand and then really take off with the removal of silver from coinage. I suspect that the silver rands might also have been sold above face value, especially after 1969 when their annual mintage dropped down to 15 - 20 000 and were limited to mint packs.                  

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GROOVIE MOVIES
Posted (edited)

I wonder if the silver coinage struck by Austria and the 50 francs by France struck through out the 1970's also served the same purpose as the silver rands did in SA or where they actually circulated.  I see only two silver 50 francs listed and both of them are seeled in mint packs...

Edited by GROOVIE MOVIES

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jwither
12 hours ago, GROOVIE MOVIES said:

It's then apparent that the gold cions struck in the early 60's were for the collector market, if their gold content was three times their face value. It's also interesting to see the annual mintages of gold SA pounds at around 500, and how the number jumped up to 4000 with the introduction of the rand and then really take off with the removal of silver from coinage. I suspect that the silver rands might also have been sold above face value, especially after 1969 when their annual mintage dropped down to 15 - 20 000 and were limited to mint packs.                  

I wasn't aware of West Germany and Austria but then, both countries managed their currencies better than practically all others measured versus the USD.

The price of gold didn't change much between 1933 and 1971, at least the "official" price.  It's my understanding that where a free market for gold existed (outside of the United States), the price was substantially higher than $42.22, as in the $60+ USD range or higher but I haven't looked it up and don't remember the source.

For silver, the US government sold it's stocks leading up to the conversion to base metals in 1965 (and maybe after as well) to suppress the price but the price was never fixed.  In 1972 when I arrived in South Africa, my recollection is that spot price was between $2 and $3 USD.  The Rand was worth $1.27 during 1972 (my recollection was $1.50) and $1.49 during 1974 (my recollection was $1.15).

So depending upon the silver spot price and FX rate versus the USD, the silver content in the Rand presumably was less than face value during most of the period prior to 1974.  The US 90% silver half dollar (1964 and prior) has .3618oz and it's about the same size as a silver Rand at 33mm.  At $3 oz, the US half dollar is worth $1.08, rounded down.  The silver Rand a little more or less.

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republikein
Posted (edited)
On 3/24/2018 at 6:23 PM, Pierre_Henri said:

This is from my own private records  

Country

Denomination

Date

Silver pureness

Angola

10 Escudos

20 Escudos

 

1952 + 1955

 

.720

Australia

3d

 

6d

 

1/-

 

2/-

 

 5/-

50c

1910 - 1944

1947 – 1964

1910 – 1945

1946 – 1963

1910 – 1944

1946 – 1963

1910 – 1945

1946 – 1963

1937 & 1938

1966

.925

.500

.925

.500

.925

.500

.925

.500

.925

.800

Austria

1 Corona

 2 Corona

5 Corona

Half Schilling

Schilling

 

2 Schilling

5 Schilling

 

10 Schilling

25 Schilling

50 Schilling

 

100 Schilling

 

1892 - 1916

1912 -1913

1900 – 1909

1925 – 1926

1924

1925 –1932

1928 – 1937

1934 – 1936

1960 – 1968

1957 – 1973

1955 – 1973

1959 – 1973

1974 – 1978

1975 – 1979

1991 onwards

.835

.835

.900

.640

.800

.640

.640

.835

.640

.640

.800

.900

.640

.640

.900

Belgium

½ Franc (50c)

1 and 2 Franc

5 Francs

20 Francs

20 Francs

50 Francs

50 Francs

100 Francs

 

1863 – 1914

1832 – 1868

1933 – 1935

1949 – 1955

1935

1939 – 1960

1948 - 1951

 

.835

.900

.680

.835

.680

.835

.835

Brazil

1000 Reis

2000 Reis

1906 – 1913

1906 – 1913

1924 – 1935

.900

.900

.500

British West Africa

3d & 6d

 

1/-

 

2/-

1913 – 1919

1920

1913 – 1920 (1920 also nickel-brass)

1913 – 1920 (1920 also nickel-brass)

1920H

.925

.500

 

.925

 

.925

.500

 

Canada

5c

 

10c, 25c, 50c

 

Dollar

1858 – 1919

1920 & 1921

1858 – 1919

1920 – 1966

1936 – 1966

.925

.800

.925

.800

.800

 

Ceylon

10c, 25c, 50c

1892 – 1917

1919 – 1929

1941 (10c)

1942 (50c)

.800

.550

.800

.800

Cyprus

3, 4 ½, 9, 18 and 45 Piastres

1901 - 1940

 

 

.925

Denmark

1 & 2 Kroner

2 Kroner

1875 – 1916

1923, -30, -37, 45

.800

.800

East  Africa (British)

25c, 50c, Shilling and Florin

1906 – 1919

1920

.800

.500

Egypt

1, 2, 5, 10, 20 Qirish,

 

2,5,10 and 20 Piastres (British Occupation)

 

2,5,10 and 20 Piastres (Kings Head)

1909 - 1914

 

 

 

 

1916 – 1920

 

 

1923 - 1942

.833

 

 

 

 

.833

 

 

.833

Ethiopia

Gersh (3p size)

1/8 Birr

¼ Birr

½ Birr

Birr (Crown size)

1880s/90s

1880s/90s

1880s/90s

1880s/90s

1880s/90s/1900s

.835

.835

.835

.835

.835

Fiji

6d, 1/- and 2/-

 

2/-

1934 -1941

1942 – 1943

1945

.500

.900

.500

 

 

 

Country

Denomination

Date

Silver pureness

France

20c

50c

1 Franc & 2 Franc

5 Franc

 

10 Franc

 

20 Franc

50 Franc

1864 – 1889

1864 – 1920

1866 – 1920

1861 – 1878

1960 – 1969

1929 – 1939

1965 – 1973

1929 – 1939

1974 – 1980

.835

.835

.835

.900

.835

.680

.900

.680

.900

Germany

½ Mark

1 Mark

 

2 Mark

 

 

3  Mark

 

5 Mark

 

 

 

1905 – 1919

1873 – 1916

1924 – 1927

1876 - 1913

1925 - 1931

1933 - 1939

1908 - 1915

1924 - 1932

1874 – 1914

1925 - 1932

1933 - 1939

1951- 1974

.900

.900

.500

.900

.500

.625

.900

.500

.900

.500

.900

.625

German East Africa

1/4 Rupee to 2 Rupee

 

1890 - 1914

 

.917

Great Britain

3d, 6d, 1/-, 2/-, 5/-

1817 -1919 (some 1920)

1920 - 1946

.925

.500

Greece

1 & 2 Drachmai

20 Drachmai

 

30 Drachmai

50 Drachmai

100 Drachmai

1910/11

1930

1960

1963/4

1967

1967

.835

.500

.835

.835

.835

.835

 

Hong Kong

5c

10c

20c

50c / Half Dollar

One Dollar

1866 – 1933

1863 - 1905

1866 - 1905

1866 – 1905

1866 - 1868

.800

.800

.800

.800

.900

 

Hungary

1 Korona

2 Korona

5 Korona

1, 2 & 5 Pengo

1892 – 1916

1912 - 1914

1900 – 1907

1926 - 1939

.835

.835

.900

.640

 

India (British colonial)

2 Annas

¼ Rupee

 

½ Rupee

 

1 Rupee

 

1862 – 1917

1862 – 1939

1940 – 1945

1862 – 1939

1940 – 1945

1862 – 1939

1940 - 1945

.917

.917

.500

.917

.500

.917

.500

 

 

Ireland

Shilling, Florin and Half Crown

 

1928 - 1943

 

.750

Italy

20 Centesimi

50 Centesimi

 

1 & 2 Lira

5 Lira

 

10 Lire

20 Lira

500 Lire

1000 Lire

1863 - 1867

1861 - 1862

1863 - 1892

1863 – 1917

1861 - 1914

1926 – 1941

1926 - 1941

1927 – 1941

1958 – 1982

1970

.835

.900

.835

.835

.900

.835

.835

.800

.835

.835

Lesotho

5 to 50 Licente

1966

.900

Malaysia

(Straits Settlements)

5c, 10c & 20c

 

 

 

50c

 

 

Dollar

1871 – 1903

1909 – 1917

1918 – 1920

1926 – 1935

1886 – 1905

1907 – 1908

1920 – 1921

1903 – 1909

1919 - 1926

.800

.600

.400

.600

.800

.900

.500

.900

.500

Malaya

5c, 10c & 20c

1939 – 1941

1943 - 1945

.750

.500

Mauritius

10c & 20c

¼ & ½ Rupee

 

1877 – 1899

1934 – 1938

1946

.800

.916

.500

 

Mexico

10 Centavos

 

 

20 Centavos

 

 

25 Centavos

50 Centavos

 

 

Peso

1868 - 1905

1905 – 1919

1925 – 1935 (small coin)

1898 - 1905

1905 – 1919

1920 - 1943

1874 - 1890

1875 - 1895

1905 – 1919

1919 – 1945 (not 1935)

1872 - 1905

1910 – 1914

1918 – 1919

1920 – 1945

1947/48

.917

.800

.720

.903

.800

.720

.903

.903

.800

.720

.903

.903

.800

.720

.500

 

Mozambique

2 ½ Escudos

5 Escudos

 

10 Escudos

 

 

20 Escudos

 

1935 – 1951

1935 – 1949

 1960

1936 – 1938

1952 – 1960

1966

1952 – 1960

1966

.650

 

.650

.835

.720

.680

.720

.680

 

Country

Denomination

Date

Silver pureness

Netherlands

5c

10c & 25c

½ Gulden

 

Gulden

 

2½ Gulden

 

10 Gulden

1848 – 1887

1848 – 1945

1848 – 1919

1921 – 1930

1840 – 1917

1922 – 1966

1840 – 1898

1929 – 1966

1970 - 1973

.640

.640

.945

.720

.945

.720

.945

.720

.720

Netherlands Antilles

1/10 Gulden

¼ Gulden, Gulden

2½ Gulden

 

1954 – 1970

1952 – 1970

1964

 

.640

.720

.720

Newfoundland

5c

 

10c

 

20c

25c

50 c

1865 – 1943

1944 – 1947

1865 – 1944

1945 – 1947

1865 – 1912

1917 – 1919

1870 - 1919

.925

.800

.925

.800

.925

.925

.925

New Zealand

3d, 6d, 1/-, 2/-, 2.6/-,

5/-

 

1933 – 1946

1935 & 1949

 

.500

.500

Panama

1/10, ¼, ½ Balboa

1 Balboa

 

1930 – 1962

1931 – 1974

 

.900

.900

Philippines

10, 20, 50 Centavos

 

½ Peso

Peso

 

1903 – 1906

1907 – 1947

1961

1903 – 1906

1907 – 1912

1947 – 1967

 

.900

.750

.900

.900

.800

.900

Poland

1 & 2 Zloty

5 Zlotych

 

10 Zlotych

1924 – 1936

1925

1928 – 1936

1932 - 1939

.750

.900

.750

.750

         

 

 

 

Country

Denomination

Date

Silver pureness

Portugal

50 Reis

100 Reis

 

200 Reis

 

500 Reis

10 Centavos

20 Centavos

50 Centavos

1 Escudo

2½ Escudos

5 Escudos

10 Escudos

 

20 Escudos

1855 - 1893

1838 – 1898

1909 – 1910

1838 – 1903

1909

1837 – 1910

1915

1913 – 1916

1912 – 1916   

1910 -1916

1932-1951

1932-1960

1928-1948

1954-1960

1953 -1960 

.917

.917

.835

.917

.835

.917

.835

.835

.835

.835

.650

.650

.835

.680

.800

Romania

50 Bani

1 Leu

2  Lei

5 Lei

100 Lei

200 Lei

250 Lei

 

500 Lei

 

25 000 & 100 000 Lei

1873 – 1914

1870 - 1914

1872 - 1914

1880 -1906

1932

1942

1935

1939  - 1941

1941

1944

 

1946

.835

.835

.835

.900

.500

.835

.750

.835

.835

.700

 

.700

 

Russia

IMPERIAL

5 ,10, 15 & 20 Kopeks

25 Kopeks

 

50 Kopeks

Rouble

USSR

10, 15 & 20 Kopeks

50 Kopeks

Rouble

 

 

1867 – 1917

1859 – 1885

1886 – 1901

1886 - 1914

1886 - 1915

 

 

1921 -1930

1921/22

1921/22/24

 

 

.500

.868

.900

.900

.900

 

 

.500

.900

.900

Seychelles

25 cent

½ Rupee

Rupee

1939 – 1944

1939

1939

.500

.500

.500

South Africa

a)    ZAR

b)    Union

c)    Union

d)    Republic

 

 

3d to 5/-

3d to 5/-

3d to 5/-

2 ½ c to 50c

R1

 

1892 – 1897

1923 – 1950

1951 – 1960

1961 –1964

1965 –1969

 

.925

.800

.500

.500

.800

 

 

 

Country

Denomination

Date

Silver pureness

Southern Rhodesia

3d to Half Crown (2/6-)

 

Crown (Rhodesia)

 

1932 – 1942

1943 -1946

1953

 

.925

.500

.500

Spain

50 Centimos

1 Peseta

2 Pesetas

5 Pesetas

100 Pesetas

1869 – 1926

1869 – 1933

1869 - 1905

1869 – 1899

1966

.835

.835

.835

.900

.800

Sweden

25 & 50 Ore

(also nickel  50 Ore)

1 & 2 Kronor

5 Kronor

1874 – 1941

 

(1920 – 1947)

1875 – 1941

1935

.600

 

 

.800

.900

 

Switzerland

(Helvetia)

½ Franc,

1 & 2 Franc

5 Franc

5 Franc

 

1874 – 1967

1850 – 1928

1931 - 1967

 

.835

.900

.835

USA

Dime (10c), Quarter (25c), Half Dollar, Dollar

 

 

1840 - 1964

 

 

.900

 

 

 

Pierre - to add to your list of silver world coins, British East Africa also had a 1 shilling silver coin of only .250 silver content that circulated from the 1920's to the 1940's, if I am not mistaken. Because of the low silver content of this coin, it looks more copper than silver. I found quite a few of these coins when buying silver in my region. This must me one of the lowest silver content coins ever to have circulated! 

Edited by republikein
typo error

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GROOVIE MOVIES
46 minutes ago, republikein said:

Pierre - to add to your list of silver world coins, British East Africa also had a 1 shilling silver coin of only .250 silver content that circulated from the 1920's to the 1940's, if I am not mistaken. Because of the low silver content of this coin, it looks more copper than silver. I found quite a few of these coins when buying silver in my region. This must me one of the lowest silver content coins ever to have circulated! 

Believe it or not, there's a coin that had an even lower silver content... The mexico peso minted between 1957 and 1967 had a 10% fineness. 

The peso similar weight and size to the silver rand, only had a silver content of .051 troy ounce similar to that of a 6d or 5cent at the time.

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GROOVIE MOVIES

This seller lists the coin as a 1983 peso, but the picture is that of a 1963 peso. I can't think that you would bother adding silver to the coin at all. They might as well left it a copper.

These coins were minted in their tens of millions, so I don't know if mexico was experiencing inflation as a result of the debasement

https://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/333600921/Mexico_1983_1_peso.html

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Pierre_Henri

In my list above, I only included coins with a silver content of 50% and upwards.

Someone once told me that it is not economically viable to smelt coins to extract their silver, if their silver fineness are below 50%

Regarding gold, the Americans usually produce their gold jewelry in fineness' of 12 and 14 carat, while the English, Canadians and Australians  (as we do) go for 9ct and 18ct. 

In mainland Europe (France especially) I think that only 18ct and upwards are allowed.

Gold coins are rarely struck in a fineness of less than 18ct in any country that I am aware of, but some gold coins struck for the jewelry trade (e.g. the small Mexican Maximilian Pesos) are known to have been produced with a lower gold content than that. Some probably as low as 8ct.

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GROOVIE MOVIES

To add regarding the circulation of gold. I've been doing some reading and it appears the UK was first to abandon the gold standard in 1931, no doubt in efforts to jump start their constrained economy from the great depression. South Africa was in a better position and more inclined to keep to the gold standard, but an appreciation in the SA pound over the UK pound crippled exports and resulted in the standard immediately being dropped in 1932, afterwhich the currencies were brought inline again.

SA thus stopped minting gold sovereigns and I can imagine it's at this point when gold coins withdrew from circulation. From 1952 onward we would see gold coins struck in the form of the pound but only for collector and bullion markets. 

regards Robert

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jwither
2 hours ago, GROOVIE MOVIES said:

SA thus stopped minting gold sovereigns and I can imagine it's at this point when gold coins withdrew from circulation. From 1952 onward we would see gold coins struck in the form of the pound but only for collector and bullion markets. 

regards Robert

Considering that the US raised the fixed price of gold from $20.67 to $35, would have been the best policy option.

I don't know how much foreign gold made it into the US (a lot of US circulating gold went to Europe) but seems to me that the continuing mintage of gold coinage elsewhere for circulation based upon the prior price would have resulted in immediate melting and export.  Though it was illegal for American's to own gold from President FDR's executive order in 1933 until December 31, 1974, I suspect some and maybe many did so anyway, including owning it elsewhere.  (My recollection was an exemption for collectible coins, jewelry and five ounces of bullion.)

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GROOVIE MOVIES
16 hours ago, jwither said:

Considering that the US raised the fixed price of gold from $20.67 to $35, would have been the best policy option.

I don't know how much foreign gold made it into the US (a lot of US circulating gold went to Europe) but seems to me that the continuing mintage of gold coinage elsewhere for circulation based upon the prior price would have resulted in immediate melting and export.  Though it was illegal for American's to own gold from President FDR's executive order in 1933 until December 31, 1974, I suspect some and maybe many did so anyway, including owning it elsewhere.  (My recollection was an exemption for collectible coins, jewelry and five ounces of bullion.)

I've also read somewhere that even though it was illegal to own gold in the US, the law was never really enforced to the point where anybody was prosecuted, and many people opted for hiding their gold. Not sure if it's accurate, but it would have been interesting to see how much gold suddenly came to light after 74 when the ban was lifted.

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jwither
22 hours ago, GROOVIE MOVIES said:

I've also read somewhere that even though it was illegal to own gold in the US, the law was never really enforced to the point where anybody was prosecuted, and many people opted for hiding their gold. Not sure if it's accurate, but it would have been interesting to see how much gold suddenly came to light after 74 when the ban was lifted.

Never heard of anything either, other than the US Justice Department's pursuit of the supposedly illegal to own 1933 double eagles.  I say supposed because while I am not an attorney and don't care about the case specifics, I consider the whole episode absurd.  You can read about the Langbord (?) case on the PCGS Message Boards where the family forfeited the 10 coins they owned.

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Pierre_Henri

When our last silver R1 coins were issued in 1969 for circulating purposes, the R1 paper note was already circulating for nearly a decade, being introduced in 1961.

Why carry ten of these heavy R1 coins, weighing 15 grams each, in your pocket if you can fold a R10 note nicely into your pocket or purse weighing almost nothing?

I guess that, that was the reason why the R1 coins did not circulated much– as were the case with the 5-shilling crown-coins that weighed over 28 grams each. They were just too heavy & cumbersome when compared to the paper notes that were much more easily transportable.

One seldom encounters a silver rand (or a crown) in less than XF condition.

It is interesting to note that in the late 1960s, Gold Half Sovereigns (theoretically a gold R1) were still being offered by old-time South African coin dealers for as low as R4 each (See Day’s Postal Auction No 6 of 23 March 1968)

So theoretically, for 4 silver R1 coins you could buy a gold R1.

Currently, the silver R1 coins of the 1960s sell for below R100 each, whilst the gold R1 JvR bullion coin sells for around R2000 each if I am not mistaken.

So the silver vs. gold ratio value of 1:4 (late 1960s) went up to 1:20

That was just a boere-som, but I have always maintained that for precious-metal hoarders, I would rather go for gold than silver.

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Cold Sea

More boere-sums for you. In 1968 the price of bread was about 9c per loaf, so you could buy 11 loaves of bread for a silver R1, or 44 loaves for a gold R1. Price per loaf today is about R13, which means you can buy 153 loaves with your gold R1 and only 7 loaves with your silver rand. The R1 gold went up 500x, bread 144x and the silver R1 less than 100x. Now you know why gold hoarders eat cake instead of bread.

 

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Pierre_Henri
Posted (edited)
On 3/29/2018 at 8:30 PM, Cold Sea said:

More boere-sums for you. In 1968 the price of bread was about 9c per loaf, so you could buy 11 loaves of bread for a silver R1, or 44 loaves for a gold R1. Price per loaf today is about R13, which means you can buy 153 loaves with your gold R1 and only 7 loaves with your silver rand. The R1 gold went up 500x, bread 144x and the silver R1 less than 100x. Now you know why gold hoarders eat cake instead of bread.

 

That made me laugh - good one Derick!

But even if the ratio between gold and silver stayed the same, why hoard the one if the other one took so much less space?

Image escaping a troubled country with R10 million of silver hidden away - where would you hide it?! 

Edited by Pierre_Henri
spelling

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