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South Cape Coins featured on Ontbytsake

South Cape Coins op Mosselbaai is een van die belangrike handelaars in skaars goue munte met veertien jaar ervaring in die bedryf. South Cape Coins spesialiseer slegs in munte wat deur die Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) en Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) gegradeer is - die wêreld se twee toonaangewende onafhanklike graderingsmaatskappye.

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The history of the South African mint

Today, all South African coins are produced by the South African Mint Company. The Mint traces its origins back to 1886 when gold was first discovered in Johannesburg. Overnight, thousands of people flocked to the country causing an unprecedented level of expansion and commerce. President Paul Kruger realized that South African currency was sorely needed to make up for the shortfall of coins in circulation.

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Rare coins from shipwrecks

Many collectors dream of adding a rare coin to their collection that has been recovered from a ship wreck. The mystique surrounding these coins is what makes them so sought after. They conjure up images of treasure-laden Spanish galleons, pirates, tropical storms and imperial conquest. When a long lost ship is rediscovered and its cargo is brought to the surface, many people are eager to get their hands on a piece of it. With the invention of scuba in 1942, this became easier than ever as diving equipment made it much simpler to find shipwrecks. Here are some of the most famous sunken treasures to be discovered this century:

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South Africa’s first gold coin: the Burgers Pond

Up until 1874, the only currency in circulation in South Africa was British. Then in that year two indigenous currencies were introduced. In East Griqualand, a trading store called Strachan and Company issued trade tokens that were widely used as currency for over 50 years along South Africa’s east coast. Further north, President Burgers of the South African republic had a batch of gold coins struck. These coins came to be known as the “Burgers Pond.” They were the first South African coins to be struck but were never put into circulation.

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Coin grading explained

It is important to know the grade of a rare coin before you buy it because this gives you an indication of its value. A coin’s grade is based on how much wear it has had since it was minted. Determining the condition of a coin and giving it a rating is a subjective business that varies from person to person. Fortunately there are several scales in existence that try to standardize coin evaluations. Knowing what these scales are and how the grading works will help you to distinguish differences between coins before you make a coin investment.

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South Africa’s most unusual rare coin: the Veld Pond

The veld pond is popular with collectors of rare South African coins because of its interesting historical origins. Veld pond literally means “field pound” in Dutch because it was handmade in a small, remote mining village in a gold mine workshop. It traces its roots back to the second Anglo Boer war, at a time when the British had gained possession of the National Mint in Pretoria.

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South African collector’s series

For investors or collectors interested in buying South African coins, there are several popular series to consider.  If you want to buy a rare coin, you’ll be looking at coins from either the ZAR period or the Union era. Otherwise, you can choose from one of the modern series that are minted annually by the South African Mint. These include the Mandela, Protea, Natura and Krugerrand series.

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The difference between Uncirculated and Proof coins

If you are new to coin collecting you may not know the difference between an uncirculated coin and a proof coin. Knowing the difference between the two can help you make a more informed purchasing decision, whether you’re looking to add a new coin to your collection or an older rare coin.

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The 1898 “Single 9” Pond: South Africa’s rarest gold coin

Most serious coin collectors in South Africa have heard about the Single 9, commonly referred to as the “King of South African Coins.” However outside of the country, it is relatively unknown, despite being one of the top five most expensive rare coins in the world - it was sold in 2010 for about $4 million.

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The Currency of SACU Countries

The South African economy has a strong influence on neighbouring countries. At one point, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland all used the South African rand as currency. Today, these countries together form the Southern African Customs Union, the world’s oldest, still surviving trade union. They have since adopted their own currencies, although the rand is still legal tender in all but Botswana.

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The most famous coin collector in history

Farouk the first reigned as the last king of Egypt from 1936 to 1952, when he was overthrown in a military coup. He was dubbed “the playboy king” because of the lavish lifestyle he led. Farouk owned dozens of palaces and hundreds of cars and went on spending sprees in Europe. He’s alleged to have owned 1,000 suits!

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The History of South African Currency

Coin collecting is a fascinating hobby because it connects us with the past. A rare coin from a particular historical era has the power to conjure up ghosts of a bygone age. What’s more, if you trace the history of a country’s currency, you’ll learn about how that country developed a national identity. South Africa is a good example.

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A look at mint errors and their value to rare coin collectors

Mint error coins have long held a fascination for rare coin collectors. These are coins which were printed incorrectly at the mint and escaped detection during the mint’s screening process. Although an embarrassing oversight for the mint,  these coins delight collectors for their novelty and scarcity.

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The Top Commemorative London 2012 Olympic Coins

With the London 2012 Olympics officially over and the Paralympics commencing soon, we take a look at what we think are the top coins minted to commemorate what has been a very successful Olympic Games.

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The History of the South African Mint

Over the past few months, we’ve posted a couple of YouTube videos on our Facebook fan page that show the gold refining process and the manufacturing of gold coins. The feedback has been great and in the near future we hope to add more footage to our own YouTube channel. We already have one video posted, which you can view here.

With all the interest around refining and manufacturing, we thought we’d take a closer look into our own country’s mint, the South African Mint Company, which has a really interesting history.
SA Mint historical image

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The World’s Most Expensive Coins

This is the second blog post in our ‘World’s Most…’ series. In our first we looked at ‘The World’s Most Unusual Coin Shapes and Designs’.

For thousands of years, rare coins and gold coins have captured the attention of royalty, nobility, numismatic experts and every-day coin collectors. During the Middle Ages particularly, coin collecting was reserved for those who could afford to buy rare, ancient or gold coins. Thankfully today this is no longer the case, and it’s become much more affordable for people to join in and profit from this hobby.

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South African 1892 Proof and Circulated Sets

The South African 1892 Proof Circulated Set includes very rare specimens which are highly sought-afterby numismatists worldwide.  The primary reason this particular year mintage is so valuable has to do with the story behind their production. A few of the coinswere initially (and entirely accidentally) manufactured with two glaringly obvious and embarrassing errors.

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The World’s Most Unusual Coin Shapes and Designs

In South Africa, we’re used to seeing ‘regular’ shaped coins on a daily basis (like our current series below), and it’s not often that we come across specimens that have a peculiar shape or emblem stamped onto them. 
SA Modern Coin Series

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Coin Collecting Tips for Beginners - What You Need to Know

Coin collecting is a fantastic and rewarding hobby that essentially dates back hundreds of years. What often starts out as a simple pastimecan develop into a lifelong passion, resulting in a valuable and carefully strategised collection.

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Gold Discovery and Production in South Africa

In 2011, South Africa wasofficially named the world’s 5th largest gold producer, home to 7 of the 13 leading gold mines. For many years, until as recently as 2007, South Africa was the world’s top gold producer. However, due to the incredibly high cost of production (we have the highest mining costs out of all major producing areas), its ranking has dropped.

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Great Modern Day Coin Discoveries

We included some of these in one of our previous newsletters and received a great response. So for those of you who aren’t subscribed to our fantastic monthly newsletter, we thought we’d share this with you and give you the opportunity to see what you’re missing out on.

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The Benefits of Being a Facebook Fan

Facebook is the undisputed King of Social Media, and the only network besides Twitter that has effectively transcended countries, cultures, class, race and gender. Facebook is now so massive, that close to a billion people on this planet have an account. That’s right, nearly a billion.

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Effective Storage Options for Your Rare Coins

One of the first things you need to consider when you start collecting rare coins is how you’ll store them. It’s something that deserves serious consideration because quite simply, the type of container you store your rare coins in can mean the difference between keeping them preserved or irreparably damaging them.

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Reasons Your Rare Coin Might Receive a ‘No Grade’ Designation

As a serious collector or investor you spend a lot of time, energy and money building your rare coin portfolio. It goes without saying that quality trumps quantity, and although we always advise our clients to purchase professionally graded coins, sometimes this isn’t possible, and a coin is purchased without a grade. It’s always a risky option, even more so if you’re an amateur collector or don’t have access to expert advice. The truth is coin grading is a costly process; however graded coins fetch much higher prices than ungraded coins.

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An Amateurs Guide to Coin Grading

At South Cape Coins we often get enquiries from collectors who want to know what the value of their rare South African coins are. Unfortunately it’s virtually impossible to give an accurate value without actually seeing the coin in person, or having a high resolution, crystal clear picture of it (which is difficult unless you have a decent camera). Ultimately you need to know or have an idea of what grade your coin is before you can have it valued.

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The Mystery of the Missing Kruger Millions

The legend of the missing Kruger millions (the treasure allegedly hidden by or on behalf of Paul Kruger) has enthralled historians and ‘treasure hunters’ for over a hundred years. The story goes that literally days before Lord Alfred Milner and his troop’s invaded Pretoria in June 1900 at the peak of the Anglo-Boer War, President Paul Kruger ordered the removal and confiscation of over 2 million pounds in coins and gold from the SA Mint, National Bank and gold mines. The reason for this was to keep it out of British hands, and while there is documented proof that money and gold was removed, the mystery lies in what subsequently happened to the hoard of gold and (now) rare gold coins.

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Common Rare Coin Collecting Themes

Rare coin collecting is a fascinating hobby that’s enjoyed by millions of people, young and old, worldwide. Added to this, it’s one that can offer significant investment potential too, if you make careful decisions along the way when it comes to expanding your collection.

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The National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institute

This is the second blog post in a series that we are doing on the ‘top coin collections of all time.’ In the first post we featured the Louis Eliasberg collection, so when you get a chance take the time to go and read it, it’s a fascinating story of a man who was clearly passionate about this hobby. In this post we’ll cover the National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian Institute.

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Uncommon Coin Terms You Need to Know

As with most industries, rare coin collecting is not without its fair share of jargon, and when you first start out it can be confusing trying to follow what other collectors are talking about. If you want to make the most of your hobby, you’ll want to be able to converse on forums and chat-sites, comment on articles and blog posts, and generally interact on an intelligent level with fellow numismatists and hobbyist collectors.

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Louis Eliasberg - One of the World’s Most Renowned Numismatists

Born in 1896, Louis E. Eliasberg was easily one of the most renowned numismatists in American history. To date he is the only known coin collector to have assembled and completed a rare coin collection that included a specimen of each United States coin of every date, metal, denomination and mint mark ever struck, and which was known at that time.

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We Answer 6 of Your Most Frequently Asked Rare Coin Questions

Rare coin collecting can be one of the most satisfying and rewarding hobbies, both personally and financially. When you’re starting out though, there’s a lot of information you need to take in. With this in mind, we answer 6 of your most frequently asked questions regarding rare coins.

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Which Coins Should you Sell from your Rare Coin Collection?

Not all coins are rare and not all coins add value to your coin collection. We look at one type of coin that you should consider selling if you currently own any, the ‘production’ coin.

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Interview with the Sammy Marks Penny Winner

We take a moment to interview Jaco Pieterse the winner of the incredible Sammy Marks Penny competition. Jaco is a real numismatic fanatic. He started his collection at the age of 12 and since then has never looked back. Find out how Jaco got into coin collecting, the first coin in his collection, his most desirable coin, and much more.

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How to Start Your Rare Coin Collection on a Budget

Many would be coin collectors think that starting and maintaining a collection is expensive. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. We look at what you really need to get started and how you can go about collecting your first coins, all on a budget.

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Coin Collecting for Kids

Getting your kids interested in coin collecting isn’t hard to do, especially if they see it as ‘treasure collecting’ to begin with, and of course, rare coins are the original ‘treasure’ of many story tales.

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A Brief Look at Union Coins

Also known as the Sterling South African series, Union coins are highly sought after and represent those minted between 1923 and 1964.

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How to Care For and Store Your Rare Coins

Now that you’ve found your ideal investment coin, or that special specimen that you’ve been trying to track down for ages, do you know what you need to do to keep it in the condition it’s in? We tell you how to care for and store your rare coins in this latest blog post.

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The Story Behind the 1898 Sammy Marks Penny That You Can Win

The 1898 Sammy Marks Penny that you can win in our rare coin competition is valued at R45 000. It’s an incredible prize and the story behind this rare coin and the man himself, Sammy Marks, makes for an interesting piece of history. Find out more about him in this article.

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Which SA Coins have the Lowest Mintage Figures and are the Most Difficult to Source?

One of our fans wanted to know which rare South African coins are the most difficult to source, and which have the lowest mintage figures. We thought we’d turn it into a blog post so everyone can benefit from the information.

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ZAR vs. Mandela vs. Krugerrand Coins

There can be a lot confusion when it comes to deciding which coins would make a good investment. Even if you do only collect coins as a hobby, you still want to make sure that your collection increases with value over time. We look at the three different types of South African coins that are the most popular to collect, ZAR, Mandela and Krugerrands.

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Rare South African Coins that have Sold on Auction

Rare coins often realise more when sold through online auctions due to the simple fact that the target audience is larger and auctions are more accessible for serious investors and collectors. With this in mind we look at four incredibly rare South African coins that have sold for impressive amounts through US online auctions.

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Important Announcement: Counterfeit NGC Holders

NGC has identified and confirmed that a counterfeit replica of its holder has been produced. At first appearance, the holder resembles the NGC holder and its respective brand marks. Upon inspection, variations in the holder, label and hologram make them easily discernible from authentic NGC-certified coins. This announcement includes diagnostic information to identify counterfeit holders.  The holder has been seen housing counterfeit dollar or foreign crown size coins. While the enclosed coins are also counterfeit, the label information matches the coin type enclosed.

The label information is copied from actual NGC certification labels, and the certification information therefore will match the NGC database. Most frequently Trade Dollars and Bust Dollars are found, although Flowing Hair Dollars and foreign coins have also been seen. A range of grades is also represented.

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Most Important African Coin Sold

“King of South African Coins”, the unique and historic 1898 Single 9 Pond, sells for a record multi-million rand price and is certified by NGC.

The sale of South Africa’s rarest and most valuable coin, the 1898 Single 9 Pond, has been concluded for an unprecedented multi-million rand figure. The sale, like the prior two sales of the same coin, was facilitated by Mr. Walter Fivaz the CEO of South Cape Coins. The buyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, is thrilled to own such an impressive and important part of South Africa’s heritage. The Single 9 has justifiably been dubbed the “King of South African Coins” and is among the most valuable rare coins in the world.

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Pedigrees - Why They’re Important

When buying a dog, particularly a champion, one of the most important considerations is its pedigree. The bloodline of a pedigree proves a dog’s ancestry and allows the prospective purchaser to confirm that the parents are also champions. A good pedigree certifies the value of a champion. A bad pedigree means the dog is, well, just a dog.

Similarly, in the coin world, pedigrees certify the value of a champion. A pedigree to a “name” collection can add a lot of value. Names like Maris, Spiro, Roper, Taylor, Norweb, Ford, and Garrett are important to collectors of colonial coins. U.S. coin collectors find tie-ins to the Eliasberg, Newcomer, Col. Green, and King Farouk collections especially attractive. Pedigrees from the Bass and Eliasberg collection are valuable to collectors of gold coins. Pattern collectors seek out coins from the Byron Reed, Garrett, and Bass collections. And, the list goes on.

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The worlds first Online Coin Portfolio Manager

South Cape Coins has launched the worlds first ever online coin portfolio manager, allowing you to track the performances of your coins as well as buy and sell coins online either through the market or through the Online Auction House. The release has revolutionised the way people buy, sell and track their coins online. The development has taken more than a year to be completed and incudes a host of features that until now have been unavailable to numismatits worldwide.

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Article on the sale of the Single 9

Great (S African numismatic) investments of the future - July 200
by Scott Balson

JOHANNESBURG - The historic “Single 9” coin, the only example of a 19th Century Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR) coin, was sold for the princely sum of Rand (R)9,8 million in Johannesburg in September 2001.

The 1899 ZAR coinage dies were intercepted by the British in Lourenço Marques and never arrived in Pretoria - preventing the minting of gold coins dated that year.

The Mint Master in Pretoria was then instructed to overstamp the second “8” in the mint date on 130 coins from 1898. However, when the first coin was overstamped it was realised that the punch was too big, and the rest of the coins were then overstamped using a smaller punch.

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The 1892 Double Shafted pond that nearly brought down the Kruger Government

Great (S African numismatic) investments of the future - July 2005 by Scott Balson

Facing an upcoming election and wanting the new coins in circulation to enhance his prestige, President Kruger didn’t wait for the Pretoria Mint to be completed. Instead, he contracted to have the first issue of the new ZAR coins (dated 1892) struck at the Imperial German Mint in Berlin. This proved a mistake, as the dies were cut with two glaring mistakes that insulted the populance and proved quite embarrasing to Kruger and the National Bank. Designer Otto Schultz, following a common practice, placed the initials ‘OS’ at the truncation of Kruger’s bust (image right).

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Did you know?

Did you know

The 1898 Single "9" is the most important African coin. Sold by South Cape Coins

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Understanding "No Grade"

Understanding No Grade

Don't get caught out!
A guide to the states of condition that can cause a coin to be rejected for NGC certification.

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