The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has published the new designs for the 2023 Fourth Decimal Coin Series of South Africa, which will become legal tender from 1 January 2023.
The new coins were first announced during a virtual meeting on 31 August, where the cabinet green-lit the new dimension, design, and compilation.
The new coins will replace the third decimal coin series, which was introduced in 1989.
Currently, South Africa has six coin denominations in circulation: the 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2, and the R5.
The SARB highlighted that having different sizes and rim finishes is needed to help visually impaired people to identify the particular denomination with their fingers.
Various ridges, rims, serrations, and different metals on the coins are also incorporated as part of the security features.
Vending machines are programmed with software and sensors to recognise these circulation coins and accept them accordingly.
Electroplated coins were introduced in 1989 as a solution to the escalating costs of materials and manufacturing and the increasing risk of falsification.
The key change in the 2023 Fourth Decimal Coin Series is that the words “South Africa” will be inserted on one side of the coins and printed in all the official languages.
The coins will be minted on a rotational system with the use of all the official languages being printed onto the coin over a certain period.
For the next ten years, the languages will be alternated annually.
Three languages will be used for R5 coins, two languages for R2, 50c, and 10c coins, and one language for R1 coins.
The details about the different coins are listed below.
- R5 coins will use a bi-metal alloy, have a diameter of 26mm, and weigh 9.5g.
- R2 coins will use nickel-plated steel, have a diameter of 23mm, and weigh 6.5g.
- R1 coins will use nickel-plated steel, have a diameter of 20mm, and weigh 5g.
- 50c coins will use bronze-plated steel, have a diameter of 22mm, and weigh 4.5g.
- 20c coins will use bronze-plated steel, have a diameter of 19mm, and weigh 3g.
- 10c coins will use copper-plated steel, have a diameter of 16mm, and weigh 2g.
The images below show the new 2023 Fourth Decimal Coin Series of South Africa.