A new South African five rand (R5) coin is to be released on 18 July 2008 to celebrate the 90th birthday of former president and Nobel Peace laureate Nelson Mandela. The South African Reserve Bank, the South African Mint, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Ministry of Finance will release five-million of the bi-metal coins into circulation.
The coin was launched at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg in July 2008. Making the announcement, Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel said the coin would symbolise the love Mandela has for humankind, and by passing the coin around people will share that love. “We want to see it in circulation,” he added.
Mandela is affectionately known by his clan name of Madiba. “We are so privileged to have Madiba with us, who actively continues to provide leadership and who continues to be an example to all of us,” said Manuel.
Manuel, Mandela and Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni struck a new R5 coin on the day of the launch using a manual coin press. The new coin was then ceremonially handed over to Mandela. “Today I am richer than yesterday,” joked the statesman, “and I am not going to associate with poor people any more. This is very nice
Manuel and Mboweni are encouraging the public to spend their Madiba birthday coins rather than squirrel them away. “We want people to touch a bit of Madiba, to share the love and leadership as the coin goes around.”
The obverse, or head, of the coin features Mandela in jovial mood, wearing the trademark “Madiba” shirt that has become a style icon and sets him apart from the usual, more formal portraits of leaders on coins. Mandela has worn the Madiba shirt in Parliament, when meeting foreign dignitaries, and at formal and informal functions, and has turned it into his personal fashion statement.
The reverse, or tail, of the coin features the new South African coat of arms, which was adopted on Freedom Day, 27 April 2000.
This is not the first time the former president has been honoured on the face of a coin. In 2007 the Mint introduced a pure gold and silver Protea coin series which honoured the 1993 joint Nobel Peace Prize laureates and former South African presidents Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk. The Protea series of collector coins commemorates matters of importance in the history of South Africa. The R25 coin features both statesmen together while the two R1 coins portray them individually.
In 2007 a rare Mandela proof R5 coin, minted in 2000, sold for R200 000 ($26 300). According to rare coin dealer SA Coin, this is one of only three coins in existence in such a perfect proof condition, and the value of these coins has increased by 4.4-million percent over the last seven years. SA Coin attributes this to the fact that Mandela is such a well-loved figure all over the http://matricassist.co.za/the-benefits-of-rare-coins-as-an-alternative-investment/