Coin­ing SA’s her­itage at this Mu­seum

Money has made our world go round

Pretoria News - - METRO - RUDZANI MATSHILI [email protected]

THE Coin World Mu­seum si­t­u­ated at the South African Mint premises in Cen­tu­rion along the Old Joburg Road an­swers ev­ery ques­tion one could have about coins.

From his­tory to pro­duc­tion, it of­fers vis­i­tors a unique op­por­tu­nity to be­come fa­mil­iar with the his­tory of the cir­cu­la­tion of coins from the ear­li­est times up to the present day.

The mu­seum, which un­der­went a four-month ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tion which saw it be­com­ing more mod­ern and ap­peal­ing, re­cently opened its doors again to the pub­lic.

The me­dia were in­vited on a tour and rep­re­sen­ta­tives learnt about the mint’s coin col­lec­tion that re­flect the coun­try’s nu­mis­matic his­tory as well as the in­ter­est­ing pieces of equip­ment used to man­u­fac­ture coins and dies.

SA Mint man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Tumi Tsehlo said the ex­hibits could not be seen any­where in the coun­try but at the mu­seum.

One of the sig­nif­i­cant coins dis­played is the com­mem­o­ra­tive coin cel­e­brat­ing the birth cen­te­nary of Oliver Tambo.

Tsehlo said spe­cial mo­ments in his­tory were of­ten marked with com­mem­o­ra­tive coins.

Tambo’s cen­te­nary was cel­e­brated by pro­duc­ing last year a R5 cir­cu­la­tion coin and a se­ries of col­lectible coins un­der the theme “Free­dom, Democ­racy and Cul­ture”.

“The el­e­ments of the sym­bol fea­ture promi­nently in this R5 cir­cu­la­tion coin, re­soundly ac­knowl­edg­ing his con­tri­bu­tion to the Strug­gle for equal­ity and in­clu­sive­ness,” he said.

Within a stone’s throw away were the colours coin range de­signed to cel­e­brate the rich di­ver­sity and as­tound­ing beauty of the Cape West Coast Bio­sphere Re­serve.

The coin has di­verse ecosys­tems and habi­tats, which in­clude ma­rine life, and a beach, while the frontal shows dune en­vi­ron­ments, pans, wet­lands and rocky out­crops. The range is made up of four coins; two R10 ster­ling sil­ver coins de­pict­ing the fauna and two R5 ster­ling sil­ver 1 oz coins de­pict­ing the flora of the Cape West Coast Bio­sphere Re­serve.

But what’s a coin mu­seum with­out the leg­endary trusted Kruger­rand.

Tsehlo said the coin was also cel­e­brated for its en­dur­ing value last year where it was for the first time ever pro­duced in dif­fer­ent me­tals.

“The first ever plat­inum Kruger­rands were pro­duced at the mint.”

A hand-fin­ished lux­u­ri­ous and unique silk scarf with el­e­ments of tra­di­tional wax cloth, cowrie shells and bead work is also found in the mu­seum. This pays homage to the Kruger­rand coin.

Ev­ery year the South African Mint pro­duces up to 2 bil­lion cir­cu­la­tion coins, and 5 mil­lion proof coins.

As a lead­ing mint in the world, Tsehlo said they make cur­rency for coun­tries all over the world – Is­rael, Thai­land, Mo­rocco, China, Canada, Paraguay, Botswana, Namibia and Zam­bia, among oth­ers.

He said the 10 cent coins were in de­mand.

“We can pro­duce about 2 bil­lion coins in a year. The largest num­ber of coins that we pro­duce are the 10 cent, fol­lowed by 20 cent; R1 and R2 are lower and R5 is the low­est one.”

To learn more about coins, vis­i­tors can visit the mu­seum ev­ery day in­clud­ing on week­ends. En­try is free.

| JACQUES NAUDE African News Agency (ANA)

A COL­LEC­TION of old South African coins at the South African Mint Mu­seum in Cen­tu­rion.

The Nel­son Man­dela cen­te­nary col­lec­tion at the South African Mint Mu­seum.

The man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the South African Mint, Tumi Tsehlo.

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