When is a R5 coin not a R5 coin?

Never, says the Reserve Bank, responding to “numerous” queries about the value of the commemorative Griqua Town R5 coin.

The coin entered circulation in 2015 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Griqua Town coin — which the South African Mint says was “the first local currency of a South African people”.

The Bank said on Monday that these coins were “normal circulation” coins and were worth their face value, R5.

“If you receive one of these coins as change, please do not hold on to it. Use it to make a purchase so that the next person can also experience the beauty of the coin,” the Bank entreats people.

This goes for other commemorative coins, too, it says.

“For example, the commemorative R5 Nelson Mandela circulation coin that was issued in 2008 to celebrate the former president’s 90th birthday was, and is still, worth R5. There could be a buyer willing to pay a higher price to collect such a commemorative circulation coin but the Reserve Bank does not attach a value higher than the face value to such coins.”

But these coins are not meant to be collectors’ items or investments, it says — unlike the special editions produced by the South African Mint.

On the subject of collectable coins in general, the Bank’s website says it “issues coin at face value only. Members of the public may therefore contact reputable coin collectors and/or coin dealers for information on investment values for old coin.”

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