South Africa 1957 5 shillings

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from the Mountain Groan Collection
S Africa 1957 crown rev DC.jpg
from Stack's Bowers 2016 ANA sale, part of lot 23056
S Africa SB816-23056b.jpg

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 five shilling pieces were originally .800 fine silver (KM 31, issued 1947 and KM 40.1, issued 1948-50), then .500 fine silver (KM 40.2, issued 1951-52 and KM 52, issued 1953-59). Additional fifty cent pieces were struck 1961-64 after the white-dominated Republic of South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth. With the collapse of apartheid, collecting South African coins is now respectable again. The second specimen was part of lot 23056 in Stack's Bowers ANA sale (Anaheim, CA, August 2016), which sold for $90. The catalog description[1] noted, "SOUTH AFRICA. Nine Piece Proof Set, 1957. ICG MS-60 Details--Cleaned to PROOF-65. KM-PS39; Hern-P31. Farthing to 5 Shillings. Housed in ICG holders, with all grading between PROOF-63 and 65 except the farthing which is MS-60, details. Iridescent toned bronze pieces featuring exuberant teal, blue and deep orange toning, with the Penny in particular exhibiting a riot of colors. The Farthing has been lightly cleaned and is now retoning. A touch of milky toning on the silver issues, with mirrored fields that retain high reflectivity. Inspection advised."

Recorded mintage: 154,000 plus 1,130 proofs.

Specification: 28.28 g, .500 fine silver, 38.8 mm diameter, plain edge, designed by Mary Gillick and Coert Steynberg.

Catalog reference: KM 47.


  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 47th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • Hern, Brian, John Bothma and Hercie Pieterse, Hern's Handbook on South African Coins & Patterns, Ferndale, South Africa, 2013.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, The August 2016 Anaheim ANA Auction: Ancient Coins, World Coins & Paper Money, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2016.

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