The South African Mint Company
Private Mints in South Africa

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The South African Mint Company

    South Africa's central bank "The South African Reserve Bank" issues all of the country's coins and notes. The South African Mint Company is a subsidiary of the bank and it mints all of the coins required by the bank, the South African Bank Note Company is another subsidiary of the bank and likewise it prints all of the notes required by the bank.
    The South African Mint during the past ten years has become a bigger and bigger player in the rather competitive business of supplying other countries with their requirements of coins and coin-blanks. Customer's of the S.A. Mint include neighbouring Swaziland and Namibia who do not have their own minting facilities and various European mints who have had hundreds of millions of coin-blanks from the S.A. Mint as the capacity of these European mints is rather stretched by the need to produce future legal tender Euro coins.
    To find out just which foreign coins the S.A. Mint has made does take a lot of searching through press releases and information with collectors specialising in particular countries. Only on one recent occasion has the S.A. Mint used a mint mark, a means of making mint attribution simple.

The ''M'' in Oval mint mark of the South African Mint
The "M" in Oval mint mark of the South African Mint Company as appeared on the India 2 Rupee coins produced in Pretoria.

    This mint mark is based on the logo of the S.A. Mint, it was used on the 150 million 1998 dated 2 Rupee coins made for India by the mint. The Indian authorities had specified that a mint mark be used on these coins. (All but a very few Republic of India coins can be attributed to a mint by a mint mark, or the lack of one). These 2 Rupee coins are the only coins that the S.A. Mint has as yet made for India and are still the only ones to have used this mint mark. Whilst India does have its own government mints, they often struggle to keep up with demand. Other foreign coins using the logo (above) have recently come to my attention, they are Seychelles 5, 10 and 25 Cents and 5 Rupees all dated 2000 and Chile 5 Pesos date 2001. In March 2002 got hold of a Seychelles 25 Cents 2000 and in August 2002 I got hold of an example of the Chilean coin made by the S.A. Mint.

Chile 5 Pesos 2001 Obverse - these coins were made by S.A. Mint Co.
The Chile 5 Pesos 2001, the obverse of which is shown above, was made by the S.A. Mint and the mint's logo appears as a mint mark on the obverse where normally there would have been the "o" over "S" mint mark of the Chilean Mint in Santiago.
The dies are different for these S.A. Mint made pieces, most notably the designer's name has been removed from the truncation of the portrait, further to this there are various slight lettering size and position changes apparent.

    Details of foreign coins made by the S.A. Mint once appeared on their website, but not anymore. So the mention of pieces such as 1 Yuan coin-blanks made for the Peoples' Republic of China has disappeared. This particular contract would likely have had something to do with the fact that the S.A. Mint's plating plant was developed by Chemserve Trio a South African company and early 1999 saw the opening of a similar plating plant at the Shanghai Mint, China. This plant too was set-up by Chemserve Trio, it is just for blanks for China 1 Yuan coins which are Nickel-plated-Steel. The plant was set up to produce around 1000 million blanks per year. The 1999 1 Yuan coins (standard design) do appear to be brighter and more reflective than pieces of previous years - so a sign a the blanks have been manufactured using different processes.

For more information see  -  South African Mint Company .

Private Mints in South Africa

The Cape Mint

    The Cape Mint (Pty) Ltd is a long established private mint in South Africa. They produce proof collector coins for mainly other African countries - but not for South Africa. Many of these coins are 500 grams and some 1000 grams - The Cape Mint was a pioneer in striking designs to this size.

The maker's name PAGLIARI as seen on coins of The Cape Mint.
The maker's name "PAGLIARI" as seen on coins of The Cape Mint. (Image from Rod Sell)

    The coins produced by this mint are marked "PAGLIARI". This mark is used as the engraving company for the mint is called Pagliari (Pty) Ltd, both companies are part of the Pagliari Group.

For more information see  -  The Pagliari Group .

The Gold Reef City Mint

    This mint makes similar products to The Cape Mint and has similar customers, with one exception being that The Gold Reef City Mint has made some legal tender collector coins for the South African goverment.
    It can be seen in the SCWC that for the years 1987 through 1991, that a proportion of the mintage for each of the Kruger Rand series proof coins were mint marked "GRC" (for Gold Reef City). I do not know which pieces they have made since 1991 for South Africa.
    The mint also sells various products of the South African Mint as well as some older South African numismatic collectibles.

For more information see  -  The Gold Reef City Mint .

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The background image is the obverse of a recent 10 Cent type.