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South Africa’s 25 young years as a constitutional democracy are the subject of the South African Mint’s “Celebrating South Africa” series which celebrates milestones and symbols of the country’s freedom, democracy and culture. 2019 marks a monumental 25 years of South Africa’s constitutional democracy. To reinvigorate national pride, the South African Mint has introduced the “SA25” democratically themed coin range.
 
The 2019 SA25 coin series consists of three collectable proof coins depicting themes which commemorate SA’s 25 years of constitutional democracy:
 
  • a bronze alloy – We the People;
  • a sterling-silver – Commemorating 25 years of Democracy; and,
  • a 24ct gold coin – Constitutional Court Building
Also part of the series, and part of the first South African Mint pubic participatory process are six circulation coins:
 
  • 5 x R2 coins featuring five rights espoused by South Africa’s Constitution in the Bill of Rights
  • 1 x R5 coin commemorating the first democratic election on 27 April 1994 with “let us live and strive for freedom” from the National Anthem

The South African Mint Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank is one of the foremost preservers of South African heritage with over 125 years of experience in crafting both circulation and collectable coins. It is imperative that we commemorate this national milestone.

The themes on our coins are exclusive to the year and the SA25 theme is the subject for 2019. Themes are not repeated, and sales only continue until stocks last. The commemorative circulation coins will only be put into circulation in 2019.

The South African Mint, together with the South African Reserve Bank would like to reiterate that commemorative circulation coins like those in the SA25 range are ‘normal’ circulation coins similar to the ones already in circulation. Circulation coins, whether ‘normal’ or commemorative, are all worth their face value (i.e. a R2 coin is worth R2 and does not appreciate in value).

Once the coins are announced and put into circulation, you may find them in your change when you transact. You will also be able to obtain them from commercial banks by exchanging your current R2 or R5 coins for the new circulation R2 or R5 coins. These coins will also be made available through the banks situated in select malls where we will have SA25 pop-up stores over the next 5 months.
 
The collectables coins are not investment coins like the Krugerrand Bullion coin, hence cannot be traded at the Mint or the SARB.

New coins are issued to a small number of cash centres which are operated on behalf of the major banks. These cash centres, in turn, distribute coins to local bank branches in order to satisfy demand from business and members of the public.

The special sleeves are available from the SA Mint’s retail store at our premises in Centurion, as well as various pop-up stores in select malls across the country. They are also available through our authorised dealers. The sleeves are free of charge. For further details visit www.sa25.co.za or follow us on:
 
Twitter: @SAMint
Facebook: @SouthAfricanMint
Instagram: @SouthAfricanMint

The collectable coins are available from the South African Mint’s retail store in Centurion, Elegance Jewellers in Melrose Arch, and the True Story Store at OR Tambo International Airport. They are also available from our authorised dealers, or SA Mint-hosted pop-up stores at select malls across the country. Our authorised dealer list and details of the pop-up stores can be found on www.sa25.co.za, and on our social media platforms:
 
Twitter: @SAMint
Facebook: @SouthAfricanMint
Instagram: @SouthAfricanMint

The SA Mint inscribes a face value on the coins as these coins are legal tender, minted under the authority of the South African Reserve Bank. Without a face value, a coin is effectively only a medallion. The 1oz SA25 gold coin retails for approximately R27900. The same goes for the bronze alloy coin (suggested retail price R195) and sterling-silver coin (suggested retail price R895); they are NOT worth R50 as per the face value of the coin.

At the start of this process, the Mint conducted research via focus groups with born frees - South Africans born in post democratic SA on what has brought South Africans together since the advent of democracy. Feedback from the cohort highlighted various concepts which could be grouped under various constitutional rights. Further interrogation linked these “rights” to the Bill of Rights (Chapter 2 of the Constitution). Based on these findings, the decision was taken to focus on the fundamental rights of South Africans enshrined in the Constitution under the Bill of Rights.
 
More research followed on social media which yielded a better understanding of the rights South African’s considered most important. These ‘top’ human rights feature on the five R2 circulation coins. The sixth, a R5 circulation coin features the right to vote.

To bring the thinking to life, the Mint’s in-house team of established designers worked with young artists to enrich the designs on the coin’s small surface. A selected group of artists from across South Africa submitted drawings of their interpretations of the “identified rights” and were adjudicated by a theme panel. The panel based their selection on both interpretation and how well the designs could exist on a coin. They were only introduced to the artists behind the chosen designs after the final designs had been chosen.
 
This is also the reason why some of the artists’ work features on more than one coin.

There are five new R2 coins and one new R5 coin. They do not replace the old R2 or the R5 coin. They are ‘normal’ circulation coins that form part of all the other coins already in circulation.

The coin was designed by Neo Mahlangu. The reverse (tails) features three internationally known symbols of learning and knowledge - a book, a cube (featuring letters and numbers), and a graduation cap. The obverse (heads) features the national coat of arms together with the date of issue, ‘2019’, and the words ‘South Africa’ written in English and ‘Afrika-Dzonga’ in Xitsonga.

The coin was designed by Neo Mahlangu. The reverse (tails) features three internationally known symbols of learning and knowledge - a book, a cube (featuring letters and numbers), and a graduation cap. The obverse (heads) features the national coat of arms together with the date of issue, ‘2019’, and the words ‘South Africa’ written in English and ‘Afrika-Dzonga’ in Xitsonga.

The coin was designed by Maaike Bakker. The reverse (tails) features an illustration representing the environment showing water and a fish, land with plants and the sky with clouds and the sun. The obverse (heads) features the national coat of arms together with the date of issue, ‘2019’, and the words ‘South Africa’ written in English and ‘Afrika-Dzonga’ in Xitsonga.

The coin was designed by Rasty Kanyles. The right is symbolised by a plane, a bird holding a key, and a minibus taxi on the reverse (tails) of the coin. The obverse (heads) features the national coat of arms together with the date of issue, ‘2019’, and the words ‘South Africa’ written in English and Afrika-Dzonga’ in Xitsonga.

The coin was designed by Peter Mammes. The reverse (tails) features raised hands representing the individual person. This is also a sign many make to express an opinion and their wish to be heard. The obverse (heads) features the national coat of arms together with the date of issue, ‘2019’, and the words ‘South Africa’ written in English and ‘Afrika Dzonga’ in Xitsonga.

The coin was designed by Lady Skollie. On its reverse (tails), the coin features the famous image of people queuing to cast their vote (inspired by the country’s first democratic elections) and the words ‘Let us live and strive for freedom’. The line originates from the fourth stanza of South Africa’s national anthem. The obverse (heads) features the national coat of arms together with the date of issue, ‘2019’, and the words ‘South Africa’ written as ‘Afrika Borwa’ (Sepedi or Sesotho) and ‘Aforika Borwa’ (Setswana).
 
NOTE: All the SA25 commemorative circulations coins issued by the SARB and the South African Mint, including the collectable range, use a common typeface created by Garth Walker for the Constitutional Court The typography as reflected on the commemorative coinage was created in 2003/4 as a unique wayfinding system font for the Constitutional Court of South Africa.