Known as the hobby of kings, thousands of numismatic enthusiasts enjoy the treasure of finding and collecting some of the most rare and valuable coins in the world.
South Africa has its own unique treasures some of which include the highly sought after, highly collectible and historic coins from the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR Coins) era. Coins such as the Burgers Ponde, Kruger Ponde (Double and Single shaft), Sammy Marks Tickey, 99 Overstamp, Kaalponde, and the infamous Veldpond remain a historic icon.
In 1891, President Paul Kruger introduced the Mint act, a brilliant political move during re-election time. This would be a major strategic move, considering this would be the first indigenous currency for the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek. The mint, however, was not able to mint the coins in time for 1892 re-election and an impatient President Kruger arranged for the coinage to be minted by the Kaisermint in Berlin, Germany. In the rush, a few errors slipped through the cracks, these errors though small, nearly cost him the election. President Kruger recalled all the error coins in an act to prevent any further reputational damage before the election, he had them melted down and new coins made. This turn of events only sought to grow the demand for the coins with many holding onto them knowing the impact they had in history.
Luckily for President Kruger, he recovered from the coin saga of 1891 and went on to win the 1892 election. ZAR coins hold fascinating stories detailing the past in a way no movie ever could.
Minted in 1874, the Coarse Beard Burgers Pond has become somewhat of a legend in the world coin community. After the initial 695 Fine Beard coins were minted, the first coins ever minted to be used in the ZAR, Thomas François Burgers, the fourth president of the ZAR, ordered an additional 142 coins. Unfortunately, the minting die broke and a new one had to be made. However, the details of the initial die could not be replicated, leaving President Burgers’ beard coarser than the original. This is one of the rarest coins in the world.
Success story: Burgers Ponde have been known to sell for millions of rands due to their rarity. The Scoin Shop have sold an 1874 Burgers Pond for R2.4 milion.
What makes most ZAR coins so unique are their slight flaws, due to the technology used in the minting process. The 1892 Single Shaft and Double Shaft Ponde are some of the most famous and sought-after coins in the world. Ordered by the iconic President Paul Kruger in time for the 1892 general elections, the initial batch featured a double-shaft ox wagon. Unfortunately the traditional Boer wagon features a single shaft. The design had to be rectified and a new batch had to be minted. The mistake almost cost President Kruger the elections.
Success story: The 1892 Single Shaft & Double Shaft Ponde have proved to be successful sellers in the past. The Scoin Shop sold a MS graded 1892 Single Shaft Pond for R550 000.
Sammy Marks, Lithuanian-born South African industrialist and financier, became a well-loved figure in South Africa before the outbreak of the Second Boer War in 1899. He was so popular that he was allowed to use the state mint for one day in 1898. The result of this extraordinary day in the history was the illustrious Sammy Marks Tickey. With a mintage of just 215 golden tickeys, they are one of the rarest coins from this era.
Success story: Sammy Marks Tickeys are extremely sought after by international collectors. A 1898 Sammy Marks Tickey was sold for R1.8 million.
Minted in 1899, the 99 Overstamp was to prove to the world that the ZAR was an independent country capable of minting its own coins with the outbreak of the Second Boer War (1899 – 1902). Known for the 99 at the bottom of President Paul Kruger’s bust, the 99 Overstamp is one of the rarest coins in the ZAR’s history, with only 130 ever minted.
Success story: One of the rarest ZAR coins, a 1898 Double 99 Overstamp has sold for an incredible R3.5 million.
The Veldpond is one of the most beautiful and unusual collector’s coins ever minted in the ZAR. A total of 986 coins were minted and only 106 have been graded. These ZAR coins were minted with hand presses in the fields of Pilgrim’s Rest, as the advancing British troops took control of the only working mint in the region.
Success story: A ZAR coin with an incredible story, Veldponde have been known to sell for millions. The Scoin Shop sold a MS66 graded Veldpond for R2.45 million.