South Africa 1934 shilling

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Heritage sale 3015, lot 25706
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries

This specimen was lot 25706 in Heritage sale 3015 (Long Beach, September 2011), where it sold for $2,070. The catalog description[1] noted, "George V Proof Shilling 1934, (24 proofs minted), PR64 NGC, a really lovely coin that many would gladly call Gem Proof, its surfaces brightly reflective with just a few stray hairlines showing, and a hint of iridescent toning. The king's portrait is in subtle contrast to the surrounding mirrored field. This coin grows on you, the more you study it. Really rare in proof state, too." South Africa, after a turbulent history between English and Dutch settlers and the native population, was constituted the Union of South Africa in 1910. Coinage commenced in 1923. The shilling pieces were originally .800 fine silver (KM 17, issued 1923-36 and KM 28, issued 1937-50), then .500 fine silver (KM 37.2, issued 1951-52 and KM 49, issued 1953-60). Additional ten cent pieces were struck 1961-64 after the white-dominated Republic of South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth. This date is common but the proofs are rare. With the collapse of apartheid, collecting South African coins is now respectable again.

Recorded mintage: 821,000 plus 24 proofs.

Specification: 5.66 g, .800 fine silver, 23.5 mm diameter, plain edge, designed by Bertram MacKennal and George Kruger-Gray.

Catalog reference: KM 17.3, Hern-S209.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 42nd ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • Hern, Brian, John Bothma and Hercie Pieterse, Hern's Handbook on South African Coins & Patterns, Ferndale, South Africa, 2013.
  • [1]Cristiano Bierrenbach and Warren Tucker, Heritage World Coin Auction 3015, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2011.

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