Half Cent, Bronze, Coin Type from South Africa - detailed information

Half Cent, Bronze, Coin Type from South Africa (issued 1970 - 1983)
Coin TypeHalf Cent, Bronze

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.

This second type of Half Cent coins was made of bronze and is part of the Second Decimal Coinage of South Africa. It replaced an earlier larger brass type. The coin was only issued until 1973 for circulation and 1983 for collectors, after which time the denomination was discontinued. Coins struck for circulation (1970-1973) were all dated 1970.

There were also three commemorative issues - in 1976, 1979 and 1982 - in which years no coins with the "regular" (Coat of Arms) obverse were struck.

The coins have not been demonetised and are still legal tender throughout the Common Monetary Area, although in practice they do not circulate due to their low value.

Obverse
South Africa / Half Cent, Bronze - 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").

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, Bronze - reverse photo

The reverse shows at its centre 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
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Coin Type: Half Cent, Bronze - (14) Coins
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Half Cent, Bronze: Details
CountrySouth Africa
CurrencyRand
Sub-type ofHalf Cent
From1970
To1983
Face Value1/2 (x Cent)
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1983
MaterialBronze
DesignerTommy Sasseen
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size16.210 mm
Thickness1.470 mm
Mass2.000 g