The Tokyo Olympic’s opening ceremony was attended by Japan's Emperor Naruhito and featured performances paying tribute to Japanese culture and history. No supporters were in the stadium, and only a limited number of athletes joined the parade. Tennis fans sitting at home would have been thrilled to see Naomi Osaka light the Olympic cauldron and the spectacular fireworks display.
During the ancient Olympic Games, winners were decorated with olive wreaths rather than medals. The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896, and this was when the traditional gold, silver and bronze medals were first introduced. These Olympic medals show Zeus holding Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, on the obverse and the Acropolis on the reverse. They were made by the Paris Mint, also known as the Monnaie de Paris, an institution with which we have a successful and established relationship.
1996, saw the centennial games hosted in Atlanta 1996. You might remember these games as the ones where Muhammad Ali opened the competition, Michael Johnson electrified the world by winning record-breaking gold medals in both the 200 and 400-meter sprints, and Carl Lewis got his ninth Olympic Gold (in the long jump.) We remember the Atlanta Games because we were awarded the exclusive distribution rights of the commemorative Atlanta Games coins. The US Treasury and the US Mint did us proud by recognising us as the market leader in South Africa for collectables and modern numismatics. This was the start of our ongoing love affair with Olympic commemorative coins.
Sydney 2000 followed and saw the release of the first Olympic coins featuring colour. These revolutionary coins were minted by our friend and partner, The Perth Mint, and we were the winning team selected to bring these to the South African numismatic market.
We were chosen by the Greek Mint to attend Athens 2004 and were privileged to be invited to sites where the first Ancient Games were held in Greece. According to classical history, the Ancient Games were held every four years, during a religious festival honouring the Greek god Zeus. Promoting the collectable coins from Athens 2004 was another winning moment for us.
Beijing 2008 came next where Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt wrote themselves into the history books and became household names. We might not have been on the podium in the Bird’s Nest Stadium, but we continued setting records as South Africa’s market leader in gold coins and collectables.
The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”
- Pierre de Coubertin
Rael Demby, CEO of The South African Gold Coin Exchange and The Scoin Shop, says, “That famous quote resonates with me because it sums up what our business is about. Always participating in the market, always doing our best for our clients. Pure gold!”
The Royal Mint extended an invitation to the opening ceremony for London 2012. We are the only South African company to be an official partner to The Royal Mint, and this was a huge honour from our long-standing associate. The Royal Mint also minted the handover coins for Rio 2016; these collectables featured logos from London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Rael Demby, CEO of The South African Gold Coin Exchange and The Scoin Shop, adds,
“Our relationship with the Royal Mint further endorses us as the expert in gold coins, collectables and modern numismatics. No one else in the country has an exclusive relationship with The Royal Mint and their team of craftspeople, designers and engineers. The Royal Mint gets to celebrate another proud moment as the Tokyo Olympics get underway. They have designed an official Team GB 50p coin which is available in several editions. Each member of Team GB was sent a coin to keep in their kitbag and bring them good luck. We think that is a lovely gesture and demonstrates the emotion behind the art of coin collecting”.
We are huge fans of coin history and proud of our record of bringing Olympic commemorative coins to South Africa. We will keenly follow the competition in Tokyo and wish all athletes the best of luck …. but we have a special message for our own Team RSA...GO FOR GOLD!