A look at the new R50 and R500 coins celebrating 25 years of democracy in SA

 ·25 Apr 2019

The South African Mint has unveiled a set of new R50 and R500 collector coins, celebrating the country’s 25 years of democracy.

“This week 25 years ago, South Africans went to the polls in the country’s first democratic elections following the end of apartheid rule. To commemorate this milestone, the SA Mint has issued new collectable coins in base metal, sterling-silver and pure gold,” the group said.

The new collector coins feature a R50 sterling silver, R50 bronze alloy and R500 pure gold coin, all of which feature designs from South Africa’s young designers.

The R500 gold coin depicts South Africa’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, born of the country’s first democratic Constitution in 1994.

The design shows the building that houses the Constitutional Court, including the detail of the beautiful door which has the 27 constitutional rights engraved in its wood, as well as the skyline of Johannesburg in the background.

It was designed by architect Shaun Gaylard, who was inspired by the interaction between the building, its inhabitants and its visitors.

The Constitutional Court is situated in Johannesburg on Constitution Hill and is a living museum – telling the story of South Africa’s journey to democracy.

The R50 sterling-silver collectable coin features the constitutional democracy in action, symbolised by a line of people queuing to vote as they did on 27 April 1994 in the first democratic elections in South Africa. It was the first time that all South Africans were allowed to vote.

“The snake-like qualities of the queue of people running into the distance was the primary motivation for the design by Lady Skollie (Laura Windvogel) who drew inspiration from Khoisan rock paintings and the element of waiting for a better tomorrow (in a queue),” the SA Mint said.

The R50 bronze alloy coin carries the theme of “we the people’, words that feature prominently on the reverse of the coin by designer Peter Mammes.

The line is the preamble of the Constitution of South Africa. The two joined hands symbolising togetherness also depict people, ethnicity and religion. The detail in the pattern of the crosses draws attention to the ‘mark’ that voters make on the ballot paper, the SA Mint said.

Both the R50 sterling-silver and the R50 bronze alloy coins share a common obverse: the national coat of arms together with the date of issue, ‘2019’, and the words ‘South Africa’ written in all of the official languages.

The obverse of the R500 gold coin features the national coat of arms together with the date of issue, ‘2019’, and the words ‘South Africa’.

The bronze alloy and silver coins are now available, with the R500 coin going on sale in May.

“It is our most democratic coin thematically. The design ideas come from those born in a free South Africa in response to what freedom meant to them. We worked with many young and talented artists to bring to life their vivid imagery of a constitutional democracy,” said Tumi Tsehlo, MD of the SA Mint.

Read: A look at the new R25 coin from SA Mint

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter