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.
Inside Coin World: What causes these unusual
errors? Coins struck by dual misaligned dies and coins
with adjustment marks are among the subjects of our columns this
week, found exclusively in the print and digital editions of Coin World.
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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