Two Cents, Steel, Coin Type from South Africa - detailed information

Two Cents, Steel, Coin Type from South Africa (issued 1990 - 2001)
Coin TypeTwo Cents, Steel

The South African Two Cents coin (abbreviated as 2c) was a small circulating coin of the Rand currency. Unlike the other denominations, it was not created at decimalisation on 14 February 1961 - there was a 2½ (two and a half cents) coin instead. This was short-lived though and was discontinued only four years later.

When South Africa introduced its Second Decimal Coinage in 1965, there was a Two Cents denomination in it. The first type of Two Cents was made of bronze and was issued until 1990. The denomination was changed to a smaller copper-plated steel version issued until 2001, after which time it was discontinued.

The steel coins have a new reverse design, and a revised obverse showing a re-engraved Coat of Arms of South Africa; the legend was bilingual (Afrikaans and English) from 1990 to 1995, then one language only - Venda. The obverse was updated to the new Coat of Arms of the country halfway through 2000, so some coins dated 2000 have the old version and some carry the new Coat of Arms.

2001 was the last year of issue. On 28th March 2002 the South African Reserve Bank announced that it will cease the distribution for circulation of one and two cent coins as of 31st March 2002, citing high production costs - saying that it costs approximately 9 cents to produce a 1 cent South African coin and approximately 11 cents to produce a 2 cent South African coin.

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

Obverse
South Africa / Two Cents, Steel - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin displays the Coat of Arms of South Africa at its centre. Below the Coat of Arms, on the left-hand side, the initials of the engraver: ALS (for Arthur Sutherland).

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

Below, the date of issue: [year].

Obverse Inscription SUID-AFRIKA * SOUTH AFRICA [year]
Reverse

The reverse of the coin shows a flying eagle over sea waves, carrying a fish in its talons.

Divided by the eagle, the abbreviated value and denomination 2c (two cents).

In tiny letters in the lower left field, the initials of the designer: ALS (for Arthur Sutherland).

Reverse Inscription 2c
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
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Two Cents, Steel: Details
CountrySouth Africa
CurrencyRand
Sub-type ofTwo Cents
From1990
To2001
Face Value2 (x Rand)
CurrentNo; withdrawn 2002
MaterialCopper-plated Steel
DesignerArthur Sutherland
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size18.000 mm
Thickness1.800 mm
Mass3.000 g