Images of new Nelson Mandela centennial notes leak early

South African officials release official images after unauthorized photos air via social media
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 06/25/18
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Since the internet beat it to the punch, on June 14 the South African Reserve Bank released the designs of its first commemorative bank note series, celebrating the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela.

The release of the designs was supposed to take place July 13, but test packs of the notes, issued to the cash industry for testing under what the bank called “strict confidentiality provisions,” found their way onto social media.

The faces of the 10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, and 200-rand notes are identical in size, color, and design to the regular ones now in circulation. All show a facing head of Mandela, who was also known to South Africans as Madiba, as he looked later in his life.


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A half-length image of a young Mandela in front of various scenes related to his legacy is on the back of the commemorative notes, replacing the “big five” animals of South Africa on the standard issues. The existing and commemorative notes will co-circulate and remain legal tender. They will be released on Mandela’s birthday, July 18.

A new commemorative 5-rand circulation coin is being issued as well (10 rands is equal to about 75 U.S. cents).

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