World Coins

South Africa issuing Nelson Mandela 5-rand coin

Nelson Mandela is appearing on a new circulating commemorative 5-rand coin from South Africa.

Images courtesy of the Reserve Bank of South Africa.

South Africa’s famous leader Nelson Mandela is being honored with a series of circulating money.

As reported in the July 9 issue of Coin World, five specially designed bank notes are being issued to mark the centennial of his birth. In addition, the South African Reserve Bank is releasing a circulating commemorative 5-rand coin (worth the equivalent of about 37 cents U.S.). 

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The new series of bank notes and the coin are entering circulation on July 13 through commercial banks. 

“Every commemorative banknote and the R5 circulation coin tell a story of Madiba from a milestone chapter in his life‚ from his humble beginnings in Mvezo‚ to his pursuit of justice in Soweto‚ to his courage on being captured at Howick‚ to his perseverance on Robben Island‚ to the sense of community he showed at his inauguration at the Union Buildings‚” the South African Reserve Bank said in a media statement July 4. 


The current bank notes and 5-rand coin will remain in circulation alongside the new ones.

Mandela is renowned for his struggle to bring racial equity to South Africa. He served a long sentence in jail (mostly on Robben Island) after engaging in violence to sabotage apartheid sympathizers. 

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After being released in 1990, Mandela won election as South Africa’s president in 1994 in the first post-apartheid contest. 

Mandela is a frequent subject of coins and paper money in South Africa, and is revered not only nationally but by many around the world.

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