½ Pond - Double Shaft
A Brief History
In 1891, with the election coming up and with President Kruger facing strong opposition, he was anxious to bring the Republics new coins into circulation. The new Mint was not yet operating so the President placed an order for coins dated 1892 with the Kaisermunt in Berlin. The first consignment of pounds, half pounds and crowns arrived with two shafts on the wagon and similar size front and rear wheels in the coat of arms. (The traditional Voortrekker wagon had a single shaft and rear wheels larger than the front wheels.) To add insult to injury the designer, Otto Schultz, had followed custom and placed his initials below Kruger’s’ bust - which is Afrikaans for ox. This mistake almost cost Kruger the election. Subsequently, new coins with the appropriate correction were brought into circulation. The ‘offensive’ coins had received so much publicity that many were kept as mementos. This is why they can still be found in mint condition, though very scarce.
Among the first issues of all the coins minted in Berlin in 1892 were a number of complimentary proof sets, which are exceedingly rare today.
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