Fifty Cents, Nickel, Coin Type from South Africa - detailed information

Fifty Cents, Nickel, Coin Type from South Africa (issued 1965 - 1990)
Coin TypeFifty Cents, Nickel

The South African Fifty Cents coin (abbreviated as 50c) is a small circulating coin of the Rand currency. It was introduced when the currency was decimalised in 1961 and replaced the earlier pre-decimal five shillings coin, retaining its design, dimensions and metal content; the coin is thus directly descended from (and initially compatible with) the British silver Crown denomination.

The silver version of the Fifty Cents was only issued for four years though. In 1965, the Second Decimal Series was introduced, in which the Fifty Cents denomination was made of nickel.

The obverse showed a portrait of Jan van Riebeeck until 1969, with the legend in one language only - either English or Afrikaans, with both versions issued every year. It was then changed to have the Coat of Arms of South Africa, with a bilingual legend. The obverse was re-engraved in 1984, so carries a new engraver's signature after that. Apart from the regular designs, there were also four commemorative issues with different obverses.

The denomination was changed to a smaller bronze-plated steel version with the Third Decimal Series in 1990.

Obverse
South Africa / Fifty Cents, Nickel - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin displays the Coat of Arms of South Africa at its centre, as granted to the Union of South Africa by King George V and later amended by the British College of Arms. It contains representation of the four provinces within the Union.

The Coat of Arms features a shield quartered, each quarter a symbol of one of the four provinces of South Africa. An ox wagon represents Transvaal Province, a woman with an anchor represents Cape Province, two wildebeests represent Natal Province and an orange tree represents the Orange Free State Province. The crest of the arms features a lion holding four bound sticks. The supporters are a springbok and a gemsbok. Below the arms, the Latin motto, EX UNITATE VIRES (translated at first as "Union Is Strength", but from 1961 translated as "Unity Is Strength").

Around left, the name of the country in English: SOUTH AFRICA; around right, the name in Afrikaans: SUID-AFRIKA.

Below, the date of issue: * [year] *.

Obverse Inscription SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * [year] *
Reverse
South Africa / Fifty Cents, Nickel - reverse photo

The reverse of the coin depicts three flowers native to South Africa: an Arum Lily, an African Lily and a "Bird of Paradise" (Strelitzia). Representing the national flag, this flower design was modelled by Tommy Sasseen from a drawing by Cynthna Letty.

To the right, the numeral value 50 (Fifty Cents).

Below right, the initials of the designer T.S. (for Tommy Sasseen).

Reverse Inscription 50
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
Coin Type: Fifty Cents, Nickel - (31) Coins
Coin NameMintageSymbolLegend
Fifty Cents 1965 (English) unknown Jan van Riebeeck (right) SOUTH AFRICA 1965
Fifty Cents 1965 (Afrikaans) 53,000 Jan van Riebeeck (right) SUID-AFRIKA 1965
Fifty Cents 1966 (English) 8,081,000 Jan van Riebeeck (right) SOUTH AFRICA 1966
Fifty Cents 1966 (Afrikaans) 8,056,000 Jan van Riebeeck (right) SUID-AFRIKA 1966
Fifty Cents 1967 (English) 77,000 Jan van Riebeeck (right) SOUTH AFRICA 1967
Fifty Cents 1967 (Afrikaans) 52,000 Jan van Riebeeck (right) SUID-AFRIKA 1967
Fifty Cents 1968 Swart (English) 750,000 SOUTH AFRICA 1968
Fifty Cents 1968 Swart (Afrikaans) 775,000 SUID-AFRIKA 1968
Fifty Cents 1969 (English) 19,968 Jan van Riebeeck (right) SOUTH AFRICA 1969
Fifty Cents 1969 (Afrikaans) 7,968 Jan van Riebeeck (right) SUID-AFRIKA 1969
Fifty Cents 1970 4,108,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1970 *
Fifty Cents 1971 5,074,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1971 *
Fifty Cents 1972 781,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1972 *
Fifty Cents 1973 1,054,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1973 *
Fifty Cents 1974 1,957,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1974 *
Fifty Cents 1975 4,906,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1975 *
Fifty Cents 1976 Fouché 9,653,000 SOUTH AFRICA SUID-AFRIKA * 1976 *
Fifty Cents 1977 10,215,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1977 *
Fifty Cents 1978 5,088,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1978 *
Fifty Cents 1979 Diederichs 5,066,000 SOUTH AFRICA SUID-AFRIKA * 1979 *
Fifty Cents 1980 4,283,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1980 *
Fifty Cents 1981 5,691,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1981 *
Fifty Cents 1982 Vorster 2,082,000 SOUTH AFRICA SUID-AFRIKA * 1982 *
Fifty Cents 1983 5,164,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1983 *
Fifty Cents 1984 9,698,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1984 *
Fifty Cents 1985 13,348,859 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1985 *
Fifty Cents 1986 2,301,100 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1986 *
Fifty Cents 1987 19,077,781 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1987 *
Fifty Cents 1988 27,705,250 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1988 *
Fifty Cents 1989 unknown Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1989 *
Fifty Cents 1990 (Nickel) 29,442,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1990 *
Advertising
Royal Mint
Royal Mint
Fifty Cents, Nickel: Details
CountrySouth Africa
CurrencyRand
Sub-type ofFifty Cents
From1965
To1990
Face Value50 (x Cent)
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1991
MaterialNickel
DesignerTommy Sasseen
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size27.850 mm
Thickness2.200 mm
Mass9.500 g