Half Cent, Coin Type from South Africa - detailed information

Half Cent, Coin Type from South Africa (issued 1961 - 1983)
Coin TypeHalf Cent

The South African Half Cent coin (abbreviated as ½c) was the smallest circulating coin of the Rand currency, which was introduced in the then Union of South Africa on 14 February 1961, shortly before the establishment of the Republic on 31 May 1961. The half cent approximately replaced the earlier half penny coin, which was the second-smallest denomination of the South African Pound.

The first type of Half Cent coins was made of brass and was only issued between 1961 and 1964. This was changed to a smaller bronze type in 1970, issued until 1973 for circulation and 1983 for collectors, after which time the denomination was discontinued.

Apart from the regular designs, there were also three commemorative issues with different obverses.

Obverse
South Africa / Half Cent - obverse photo

The first obverse, designed by Willie Myburg and used between 1961 and 1964, 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.

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

The second obverse (1970 - 1983) displays the Coat of Arms of South Africa at its centre. Below it and to the right, in small letters the initials of the designer T.S. (for Tommy Sasseen).

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 / Half Cent - reverse photo

The first reverse, used between 1961 and 1964, shows at its centre two Cape sparrows (Passer melanurus) on a branch. At the base of the branch, in small letters the initials of the reverse designer KG (for [George] Kruger Gray).

Around right, the name of the country in English: SOUTH AFRICA; around left, the name in Afrikaans: SUID-AFRIKA. Above that, the date · [year] ·.

Below, flanked by two rosettes, the value and denomination * ½ c. * (half cent).

The second reverse (1970 - 1983) shows at its centre a different rendering of the same theme, two Cape sparrows (Passer melanurus) on a branch. Below the bird on the right, in small letters the initials of the designer TS (for Tommy Sasseen).

Above, the numeral value ½ (half cent).

Reverse Inscription ½
EdgeEdge InscriptionNone
Coin Type: Half Cent - (18) Coins
Coin NameMintageSymbolLegend
Half Cent 1961 39,196,530 Jan van Riebeeck (facing) UNITY IS STRENGTH * EENDRAG MAAK MAG *
Half Cent 1962 17,898,844 Jan van Riebeeck (facing) UNITY IS STRENGTH * EENDRAG MAAK MAG *
Half Cent 1963 11,615,025 Jan van Riebeeck (facing) UNITY IS STRENGTH * EENDRAG MAAK MAG *
Half Cent 1964 9,274,000 Jan van Riebeeck (facing) UNITY IS STRENGTH * EENDRAG MAAK MAG *
Half Cent 1970 45,375,363 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1970 *
Half Cent 1971 (mint sets only) 32,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1971 *
Half Cent 1972 (mint sets only) 30,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1972 *
Half Cent 1973 (mint sets only) 30,850 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1973 *
Half Cent 1974 (mint sets only) 35,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1974 *
Half Cent 1975 (mint sets only) 38,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1975 *
Half Cent 1976 (mint sets only) 41,000 SOUTH AFRICA SUID-AFRIKA · 1976 ·
Half Cent 1977 (mint sets only) 39,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1977 *
Half Cent 1978 (mint sets only) 37,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1978 *
Half Cent 1979 (mint sets only) 35,000 SOUTH AFRICA SUID-AFRIKA · 1979 ·
Half Cent 1980 (Proof only) 15,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1980 *
Half Cent 1981 (Proof only) 10,000 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1981 *
Half Cent 1982 (Proof only) 12,000 SOUTH AFRICA SUID-AFRIKA · 1982 ·
Half Cent 1983 (Proof only) 14,135 Coat of Arms of South Africa, 1910 SOUTH AFRICA * SUID-AFRIKA * 1983 *
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Half Cent: Details
CountrySouth Africa
CurrencyRand
Sub-types Half Cent, Brass
Half Cent, Bronze
From1961
To1983
Face Value1/2 (x Cent)
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1984
Material
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size
Mass
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