Five Cents, Silver, Coin Type from South Africa - detailed information

Five Cents, Silver, Coin Type from South Africa (issued 1961 - 1964)
Coin TypeFive Cents, Silver

The South African Five Cents coin (abbreviated as 5c) was a small circulating coin of the Rand currency. It was introduced when the currency was decimalised in 1961 and replaced the earlier pre-decimal sixpence, retaining its design, dimensions and metal content.

The silver version of the Five Cents was only issued for four years though; in 1965, the Second Decimal Coinage was introduced, in which the Five Cents denomination was made of nickel. This was changed to a larger copper-plated steel version issued until 2011, after which time the denomination was discontinued.

South Africa / Five Cents, Silver - obverse photo

The obverse features the portrait of Johan Anthoniszoon van Riebeeck, known as Jan van Riebeeck (1619-1677), Dutch colonial administrator and founder of Cape Town and considered by many people to be the founding father of the South African nation. The designer's initials WM (for Willie Myburg) are incuse on the shoulder truncation.

Around left, the motto UNITY IS STRENGTH in English; separated from that by two decorative rosettes, around right the same in Afrikaans: EENDRAG MAAK MAG.

South Africa / Five Cents, Silver - reverse photo

The reverse design - a new rendition of the original sixpence reverse - shows at its centre a king protea flower in bloom. To the right of the base of it's stem, the designer's initials KG (for George Kruger Gray). Around, five bundles of fasces - their number matching the value, just as the original design of the sixpence had six bundles.

Above, the date of issue: + [year] +.

Around left and around right, respectively the legend SOUTH AFRICA in English and SUID-AFRIKA in Afrikaans.

Around below, flanked by two rosettes, the value and denomination * 5 c. * (Five Cents).

Reverse Inscription SOUTH AFRICA + [year] + SUID-AFRIKA * 5 c. *
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone

The likeness on the obverse of the coin is based on a portrait painted by Dirck Craey which is now in the possession of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum; it is now thought that the painting was actually of another Dutchman named Bartholomeus Vermuyden, and not of Jan van Riebeeck.

Note that there are also quarter-ounce silver bullion coins denominated as 5 cents in face value.

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Five Cents, Silver: Details
CountrySouth Africa
Sub-type ofFive Cents
Face Value5 (x Cent)
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1965
Material0.500 Silver
DesignerGeorge Kruger Gray, Willie Myburg
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size19.3500 mm
Thickness1.4000 mm
Mass2.8300 g